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.