January 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 27

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Privacy Tip #314 – Got a Genetic Testing Kit for Christmas? Read This Before You Send In That Swab

I have written about genetic testing kits before, but this subject matter is worth repeating. I find that people don’t always understand the consequences of sending a swab to a genetic testing company.  Consumer Reports recently came out with a study led by its Digital Lab experts entitled “The Privacy Problems of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing” which prompted me to revisit this as a Privacy Tip.

This is always a fun topic during my Privacy Law class, and students are often shocked when we discuss the laws that apply—or, don’t apply—to this highly sensitive information.

That said, whatever you decide to do with that genetic testing kit you got for Christmas is your own personal decision. However, before you send it in, you may wish to read the genetic testing company’s privacy policy and the Consumer Reports Digital Lab experts’ report linked above. You may also wish to take into consideration your family members’ privacy, because when you submit your own genetic makeup to a private company, you are also submitting part of the genetic makeup of your whole family, as their information is part of your swab.

Copyright © 2022 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 13
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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence
Partner

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...

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