The rise of consumer DNA testing to show people their ancestral lineages comes at the cost of releasing personal genetic data. According to a Pew Research Center survey, that’s a cost many in the United States are willing to accept.
In a survey conducted in June, 48 percent of U.S. adults said it was acceptable if DNA testing companies share genetic information with law enforcement officials. 33 percent of respondents said that was not acceptable, while 18 percent were unsure. Two discrepancies were noticed in women and those above the age of 50, where 53 percent and 56 percent, respectively, believed it was acceptable that DNA testing companies share genetic information with law enforcement.
The Department of Justice recently announced the authorization to use data gathered by DNA testing websites in criminal investigations. Proponents of the rule say genetic data is a game-changing piece of evidence in many different types of crimes, while opponents say the collection of private genetic data is a violation of civil rights and another step toward discrimination.