Company Selling Genetic Data On Millions of Americans

DNA-FBIBy Mac Slavo

The questions of our time have become – Who owns you? Your data? What about your DNA?

For customers who opted into signing a consent form when they signed up to have their DNA sequenced through the company 23andMe, it would appear that their DNA data belongs to a giant database that is being shared and sold to third-party medical and pharmaceutical firms.

As Gizmodo reported that the company that has been featured in Walgreens stores to sequence your DNA for a cheap one-time cost of $99 has a lot more at stake:

Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe’s data to study Parkinson’s. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it’s been about selling your data all along.

Since 23andMe started in 2006, it’s convinced 800,000 customers to hand over their DNA, one vial of spit at a time. Personal DNA reports are the consumer-facing side of the business, and that’s the one we’re most familiar with. It all seems friendly and fun with a candy-colored logo and quirky reports that include the genetic variant for asparagus pee.

But … it’s always been about enticing customers to hand over their DNA sequences along with details of their lives in a questionnaire to build a giant database—one that academic researchers and biotech companies alike are, well, salivating over.


Its privacy policy notes that it will share aggregated data to third parties (read: sell to pharma and biotech companies) for scientific research if customers sign a consent document. Wojcicki told the San Jose Mercury News that 85 to 90 percent of 23andMe’s customers do.

For most, the concept of keeping a massive DNA database is still as creepy as that episode of the X-Files where they discover a giant filing cabinet system inside a mountain fortress containing smallpox records and tissue samples for every American:

smallpox-768x459But the truth is, there are attempts to database, store, share and sell our genetic information.

The government has been taking and keeping blood and DNA samples of all newborns for decades now, and yet it is barely known.

Many parents don’t realize their baby’s DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents’ concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it’s appropriate for a baby’s genetic blueprint to be in the government’s possession.

“We were appalled when we found out,” says Brown, who’s a registered nurse. “Why do they need to store my baby’s DNA indefinitely? Something on there could affect her ability to get a job later on, or get health insurance.”

The same information could be used to create a bioweapon, or to cure cancer… the question is, do you trust the consortium of interests behind this research with your most vital data?

What information should be used for research, and how much information should remain private and confidential?

Hopefully the customers who purchased the DNA kits at least realized what they signed up for.

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6 Comments on "Company Selling Genetic Data On Millions of Americans"

  1. All part of the private global corporate government were the elites own EVERYTHING including your genetics. They want to own your soul. They want all power and total control over all wealth. This is why they are constantly pushing austerity on us. They want us utterly destitute and totally dependent on them (Agenda 21)

  2. There is always that thin vale on the surface. Underneath the lies is nothing short of control over every human on the planet. World domination.
    Like pinky and the Brain.
    ‘What’ll we do tonight Brain?’…’the same thing we do every night Pinky, try and take over the world.’
    All the apartments going up will ensure that no one will ever own anything and car leases will be the only option, so long as the idiots in the east say it is ok.

  3. When I was researching my family history thru Ancestry and a couple of sites connected to it I decided to have my DNA tested but first thought I would do some research into the process. I discovered that Ancestry became part of the Human Genome Project which the government either bought into or bought completely years ago. Anyway, any DNA testing done thru these genealogy sites the results becomes property of the government. That’s not really disclosed on Ancestry’s website.

    • True. But every time we have a blood test at the Doctor’s office, let’s face it the government has our data. And if corporations run our govt, well….,

  4. Keep in mind that the data is first (by law) given to the FBI and NSA. They want to be able to track every human being in N. America. So far the local Smokies can only collect you DNA if you’ve been charged with a crime. I expect some idiot judge is going to OK collecting it on their so-called DUI blockades. Now that TSA has begun blockading Interstate highways, they will also insist on getting your DNA.

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