Pentagon Warns Military Personnel Against At-Home DNA Tests
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/1 ... ting-kits/
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/24/us/m ... tests.html
Excerpts from the news article:
Biometric Security Concerns:
A department of defence memo, obtained by Yahoo News, warned that the kits could put members of the military at risk.
“Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Service members,” wrote Joseph D. Kernan, the undersecretary of defence for intelligence, and James N. Stewart, the assistant secretary of defence for manpower.
“These [direct-to-consumer] genetic tests are largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission,” they wrote.
“There is increased concern in the scientific community that outside parties are exploiting the use of genetic data for questionable purposes, including mass surveillance and the ability to track individuals without their authorization or awareness.”
The memo reflects a wider concern about biometrics like DNA, fingerprints and facial recognition.
Erin Murphy, a professor at New York University’s School of Law, said a commercial genetic database could be used to unmask a person working undercover.
Health & GINA Concerns:
Over the past decade, millions of Americans have purchased DNA tests through companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry with the hopes of connecting with relatives, finding out more about their family origins and learning about how their DNA could affect their chances of developing certain health conditions. In recent years, the tests have become popular holiday gifts.
Commander Robertson said that the tests might provide inaccurate results and have negative professional consequences. “The unintentional discovery of markers that may affect readiness could affect a service member’s career, and the information from DTC genetic testing may disclose this information,” he said.
Genetic tests have more serious employment implications for members of the military than the average office worker, said Frederick Bieber, an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, who served as an Army Reserve officer at the DNA Identification Lab in Rockville, Md.