The About Their Ethnicity

For about $99.00 you can find out, where your ancestors lived and what your genetic makeup consists of. It has become a huge trend and very popular with more than 12 million Americans that have already sent their DNA to be analyzed by these companies. The ethical issue that is being raised is that companies such as 23andme, Ancestory.com and GEDmatch, to name a few, are using the DNA profiles for more than just helping individuals identify their genetic makeup. When individuals send their saliva to these companies, they are giving these companies more than just information on just themselves.

They are giving them information on their entire family tree. When you provide your genetic information to a DNA testing company, you are also providing information about those related to you — including distant cousins.

When your relatives, including distant ones whom you may not even know, provide their DNA, they are also providing genetic information about you. The technology that is used reveals to consumers whether they possess a whole suite of genetic mutations, including those associated with Lynch syndrome and breast cancer, under the assumption that awareness will likely improve the health of its consumers.

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The tests can also be used to search for relatives. Privacy is one of the biggest issues that DNA testing companies and consumers are facing. One issue is there aren’t strong privacy laws to keep police from trolling ancestry site databases. Law Enforcement is now accessing these databases to gather information on families and their biological relationships to help gather information related to police investigations.

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The biggest news story related to using DNA technology was when Joseph James DeAngelo’s, the alleged Golden State Killer, DNA was linked from distant family members that had submitted his DNA to one of these companies and was used as evidence against him for the case. Law enforcement created a fake profile using the DNA collected at a crime scene and were led to James DeAngelo. Sensitive customer data is being uploaded and housed in large databases — sometimes forever. Most genetic-testing companies say they use something called ‘informed consent’ to verify that people understand what their genetic data may be used for. But like many people do when they sign up, register or download items, they just blindly click the “I agree” button without reading any of the terms and conditions which can mean that your DNA profile can be used in many different ways without you even knowing.

That’s how a lot of these companies can skirt around privacy laws because the customer has “agreed’ to their terms. With this convenient at-home DNA technology being in its infancy there is no telling where this technology will be in five, 10, 15 years from now. The fact that DNA technology is solving crimes, finding long lost family members and helping to discover genetic mutations and risks for diseases is a huge step in the right direction, with more and more steps to come in the future. However, these companies need to ensure that their customers data is kept secure and private and is being used with there consent, not just an implied consent. Like with the breech of Equifax, Target and Yahoo there needs to be more protection for the consumer with more information accessible as well. In the end the responsibility falls on the consumer to read the fine print and only agree to what they find acceptable

As times progress, so has technology. If we analyze moral issues with a biblical perspective, we need to look at how it was used in the Bible. Technology was used for both good and evil in Scripture. The good was building of the ark (Genesis 6) and for evil it was to build the Tower of Babel. Technology should not be labeled good or evil. It is the motivation and use of technology that should be considered. Technology should be thought of as a tool, like a hammer, computer or car. These tools can also be used for good or for evil. It all depends on who is wielding that tool. We need to think of this two-fold; technology can be built for criminal actions, but technology can also be built to thwart criminal actions or find the criminals behind those actions. The Bible states “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops”. When we shed light on darkness, darkness cannot overcome it. Jesus is the light of the World and whoever follows him will never walk in darkness.

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The About Their Ethnicity. (2022, Jun 03). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-about-their-ethnicity-essay

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