Would You Trust a Genetic-Testing Company Such as MyHeritage or Ancestry with Your DNA?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Juliane, Aug 18, 2023.


Would You Trust a Genetic-Testing Company Such as MyHeritage or Ancestry with Your DNA?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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    1. Juliane

      Juliane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise /acoustic trauma
      Hi Tinnitus Talk people,

      Sometimes I wonder about things non-related to tinnitus as well (which I guess is a good thing), and I was considering spending some time looking into my family history and ancestry by using one of the available online services such as Ancestry or MyHeritage.

      However, I am a skeptical person by nature (sometimes bordering on paranoid) and then I read this article:

      CNBC: 5 biggest risks of sharing DNA with consumer genetic testing companies

      And now I'm wondering: is the "fun" of potentially discovering long lost family members really worth the risk? Have any of you tried any of these services? Was it worth it? Any pitfalls I should know of?

      After all, providing these companies with your DNA is really to provide them with priceless info about yourself and could, I guess, potentially be abused in the wrong hands?

      Interested to hear the thoughts on this topic from this great and intelligent community.

      Thanks :)
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Luman

      Luman Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I have been taking various genetic tests with Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA for years, and never have had a problem. I have also been very involved with online groups that are focused on DNA and ancestry and have never heard any stories of problems with security, etc., regarding DNA tests for genealogical purposes.
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Ngo13

      Ngo13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baby scream (acoustic trauma)
      It really boils down to personal preference. It's a risk-benefit analysis. Yes, there is potential risk involved if it gets "into the wrong hands", but I personally don't think it's very likely, especially if using the biggest companies like Ancestry or 23andMe. If you aren't willing to risk it then just don't do it.

      I've done both Ancestry and 23andMe. You have to give consent for them to store your samples, use your information for research, etc. So if you truly just want the fun of ancestry information, then I think the risk is rather miniscule. I did the health part of 23andMe and found it very interesting. I also personally opt in to participating in research because I believe a lot of genetic treatments and cures will be found through use of these databases. I do not allow the storage of my sample and so I feel like risk is a bit less. The benefits, to me, outweigh the risk.

      The only real disadvantage I see is that these databases can be used for DNA matching of criminals, if not you then someone related to you. But personally, I think it's a good thing to be able to convict the guilty party or prove someone's innocence. There's a cold case in Japan where an entire family was murdered and the perpetrator left behind ridiculous DNA evidence (half eaten food, blood, even stool!) But Japan does not allow the use of genetic databases so they aren't able to tap into that resource and provide their loved ones closure.
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Elmer B Fuddled

      Elmer B Fuddled Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      plugged nasal eustachian tube
      If I may ask, what is your nationality because there are sites which don't ask for DNA. I've used them with great results.

    5. Joshua Macleod

      Joshua Macleod Member

      United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, presumably!
      I do currently support the scientists that principally lead these companies, they have a love for the science and are genuinely curious people. It is something I've looked into and may consider it in future. Truth is, my lab has a benchtop sequencer that I am, currently, the sole user of so I could probably do it myself!

      However, I share the very valid concerns regarding consumer protection that many have raised. Could I become ineligible for health insurance or have premiums raised because of conditions I may not even know about? Could career prospects be limited by underlying conditions that may shorten or limit my working capacity 15-years down the line?
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Joeseph Stope

      Joeseph Stope Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise? infection? negative stress? other?
      I always wondered why they stopped publishing Telehpone directories. You know, back in the old pre-internet pre-computer days where nearly every telephone subscriber had their name and address in the city, state or country phone directory.

      I guess it might have something to do with the Big Bad Brothers of other countries and of course Big Bad Companies.

      Now imagine if over the course of time, a big chunk of a country's DNA along with name, address, estimated income, medical records etc. got into the public domain. Similar things seem to happen every few months and we are all shocked until the hue and cry dies down.
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Jammer

      Jammer Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma

      A hacker who leaked one million genetic profiled from 23andMe in early October has returned with an even larger trove, this time dumping a little over four million files and including the DNA Relatives feature that allows for connections between relations to be made.

      The public leaks have thus far had overtones of antisemitism, with the first leak of about one million profiles claimed to be those of Ashkenazi Jews, and conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild and Rockefeller families. The hacker’s handle is also a term used in white supremacist and conspiracy circles to refer to perceived attitudes of Jews toward other types of people.
      • Informative Informative x 2
    8. Karl T

      Karl T Member

      West Des Moines, Iowa, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Don't know. Probably live music and race cars
      Yes, I got no real concerns. I've tested with 4 or 5 companies. Uploaded to a couple more.

      The DNA as DNA is of no real use to anyone. It is a file of numbers and letters. Nothing more. The only thing that could be used against me is the spit I mailed in.

      The only thing of any concern at the DNA companies is the same thing as Amazon and car parts shops... my personal payment/account info. And if they want that information, they're going to get it somewhere.
    9. Jammer

      Jammer Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Looks like 23andMe are finding it hard to generate income as most of their population base has either already had their DNA tested or are rightfully cautious about sharing their DNA.
    10. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I honestly don't care if someone hacks my DNA results. Not that I have any anyway. Who cares who their ancestors may or may not have been? I have no secrets to divulge, good, bad or otherwise. Were my ancestors slave traders of criminals? Why would I even care?

      Nothing that anyone else does or did has anything to do w/ me, only what I do is relevant to my life. If law enforcement wants someone, they already have a wealth of data at their fingertips from driver licenses and such.

      The greater danger is someone hacking your computer/bank account/credit cards, etc. Now there you are at financial risk, but only sorta. My bank covers me on stuff like that. This sounds like yet another internet fear mongering thing that corporations will figure out a way to make a buck on.

      "Protect yourself and your loved ones from DNA pirates! Only $9.95 a month will keep you and yours safe from nefarious, international DNA criminals operating in (insert feared country of your choice here)", LOL.
      • Winner Winner x 1
    11. AbbaZaba

      AbbaZaba Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      The FBI and 45 states have my prints so might as well :dunno:
      • Hug Hug x 1

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