US Pentagon Releases Warning to Military Personnel to Avoid At-Home DNA Tests - Biometric Security & GINA Health risks

Post Reply
User avatar

Topic author
Arcadiaville
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:52 pm
Location: USA
Ethnicity: British Isles Mostly
Gender: woman
Has thanked: 283 times
Been thanked: 221 times

US Pentagon Releases Warning to Military Personnel to Avoid At-Home DNA Tests - Biometric Security & GINA Health risks

Post by Arcadiaville » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:59 pm

The Pentagon in the USA has released a warning this week for military personnel to shun personal genomic tests such as 23andMe.com and AncestryDNA.com due to perceived bio-metric security and health risks discrimination or GINA, which does not apply to military members. However, the memo noted that the average office worker is considered to be less at risk.

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.
User avatar

Topic author
Arcadiaville
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:52 pm
Location: USA
Ethnicity: British Isles Mostly
Gender: woman
Has thanked: 283 times
Been thanked: 221 times

Re: US Pentagon Releases Warning to Military Personnel to Avoid At-Home DNA Tests - Biometric Security & GINA Health ris

Post by Arcadiaville » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:13 pm

Another similar DNA testing warning this week cited concerns with the accuracy of health risks reported by unregulated consumer DNA tests and possible impact on military personnel:

SC service members using 23andMe-style DNA tests could be security risk
https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc- ... acf03.html

Excerpts from article:
“These ... 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.”

Additionally, military leaders were concerned that it could give service members incorrect information about their health.

“When submitting information to these companies, a service member should be aware that the results may inaccurately predict health problems that would appear to raise doubts about a member’s medical readiness,” Jessica Maxwell, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told The Post and Courier.


Interviews from spokespersons with major DNA test companies 23andMe and AncestryDNA with test accuracy and privacy statements were included in the article.
User avatar

LukaszM Poland
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:57 pm
yourDNAportal profile: https://www.yourdnaportal.com/pp/L53b336f7
Location: Poland
Ethnicity: Polish
Y-DNA haplogroup: R1a > M198 > YP 1337
Gender: man
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 120 times
Contact:

Re: US Pentagon Releases Warning to Military Personnel to Avoid At-Home DNA Tests - Biometric Security & GINA Health ris

Post by LukaszM » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:41 pm

Arcadiaville wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:13 pm
Another similar DNA testing warning this week cited concerns with the accuracy of health risks reported by unregulated consumer DNA tests and possible impact on military personnel:

SC service members using 23andMe-style DNA tests could be security risk
https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc- ... acf03.html

Excerpts from article:
“These ... 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.”

Additionally, military leaders were concerned that it could give service members incorrect information about their health.

“When submitting information to these companies, a service member should be aware that the results may inaccurately predict health problems that would appear to raise doubts about a member’s medical readiness,” Jessica Maxwell, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told The Post and Courier.


Interviews from spokespersons with major DNA test companies 23andMe and AncestryDNA with test accuracy and privacy statements were included in the article.
Yes, basically it is true. All those health risks are just predictions and some people could take it literally. If you keep healthy life probably you will never experience them.
K36 Ancestry Report (nMonte3 & Admix4 oracles, correlation map, PCA, MDS, dendrogram)
www.lm-genetics.ovh
Image
User avatar

Topic author
Arcadiaville
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:52 pm
Location: USA
Ethnicity: British Isles Mostly
Gender: woman
Has thanked: 283 times
Been thanked: 221 times

Re: US Pentagon Releases Warning to Military Personnel to Avoid At-Home DNA Tests - Biometric Security & GINA Health ris

Post by Arcadiaville » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:53 pm

LukaszM wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:41 pm
Yes, basically it is true. All those health risks are just predictions and some people could take it literally. If you keep healthy life probably you will never experience them.
Yes, I agree based on the current science as I tried to analyze my results in SNPedia.com and My Promethease. However, for almost every disease that I selected, I discovered a series of high risk vs. low risks such that I had to get a spreadsheet and calculate the net effect in many cases. If all of the genes associated with a disorder are not currently identified, it could generate misleading results in certain cases.

Since I jumped into the brave new world of genetic testing several years ago, I signed-up with Sequencing.com a while back. I will post an example in the Health genetics section of a recent free health app that they promoted. This may help those still on-the-fence and not encumbered by structural or employment challenges such as military members to decide if the risks are worth the possible rewards. I was curious how the company would handle Vitamin deficiency results as I worry about Vitamin D and a few other deficiencies. The results look very scientific and identify several risk areas, so hopefully there is some modicum of accuracy with the methodology.
Post Reply

Return to “Medical Genetics - general discussion”