Why DNA tests are suddenly unpopular (fading trends)

#1
C C Offline
https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/2/13/211...es-decline

EXCERPT: DNA tests were a big holiday hit — in 2018. This past year, Ancestry and 23andMe DNA kit sales on their websites saw major declines [...] As more and more people took consumer DNA tests, a number of privacy concerns bubbled up, including how outside companies, law enforcement, and even foreign governments might try to use that data.

In one high-profile case, police used DNA test info from third and fourth cousins, uploaded to a third-party site, to track down the Golden State Killer, highlighting that you’re not necessarily just revealing your own DNA when you take ones of these tests. These companies can sell your data to third parties, including Silicon Valley startups and pharmaceutical giants. Also, what happens with your DNA is governed by companies’ often dense privacy policies — policies that can be changed at any time.

In December, the Pentagon warned armed forces members not to take consumer DNA tests, saying, “Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Service members.”

23andMe and Ancestry have upped their privacy bona fides by agreeing to voluntary guidelines that, among other things, require “express consent” from consumers before sharing their data with third parties.

[...] In addition to having numerous privacy issues, DNA tests aren’t necessarily as accurate as you might hope. Their perceived usefulness is limited, too. For many, a DNA kit might be a one-time affair. To combat that, Both 23andMe and Ancestry provide a variety of different tests. 23andMe does offer a total of more than 150 personalized genetic reports that can detect everything from your predisposition to celiac disease to whether you drink too much caffeine. Ancestry offers options for “heritage tours” and “genealogy cruises” so people can plan vacations around their DNA results. The companies continually display more findings for tests you’ve already taken as well as offer new tests you can buy, but from their web sales data it doesn’t seem to be proving enough reason to continue to shop with them yet... (MORE - details)
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#2
Syne Offline
Too much interest in your genetic heredity, aside from medical history reasons, has always seemed akin to ancestor worship to me. And then there's the people who hope it will be a means of virtue signalling, and actually cry when their results are not as expected.
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#3
Leigha Offline
While I had a decent enough experience with Ancestry.com, I found it to be very salesy in terms of constant emails, and ''promotions'' to buy additional subscriptions, to find out more about your ancestors. Truth is, all of that stuff is public knowledge and accessible, you just have to know where to dig for it. All they presented to me were my grandparents' birth certificates, and registration papers when they came to the US. It was cool, but not over the moon cool. And I connected with a few cousins (but your long lost relatives have to be part of ancestry, too, in order to connect with you) who turned out to be really weird. I think that the advertisements on television and such, embellish the benefits of it, making it sound like it's going to change your life in ways you've never imagined. I guess that's possible. A coworker of mine has a friend who found out he had a kid he knew nothing about, and now she's like in her 30's. They have connected, and have a blossoming relationship now.

But, I personally find such stories to be the exception not the rule. One's mileage may vary, of course.
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