Can You Trust Any Company With Your DNA?

June 11, 2018

By Conor White

In the wake of a data breach at MyHeritage that affected more than 90 million users, other DNA-testing services are trying to assure customers their personal information is secure.

"Ultimately, the amount of care that companies go to is really important," explained David Nicholson, co-founder and managing director of Living DNA, which provides customers information on where their ancestors come from. "But you should always look at the company you're going to test your DNA with, or store your DNA with, and decide where you're going to put that information."

The recent furor over security comes after MyHeritage disclosed last week it learned that the email addresses and encrypted passwords of 92.3 million users had been leaked to a private server last October. In an interview Monday on Cheddar, Nicholson said accessing an individual's actual DNA would be much more difficult.

"Any of these firms don't actually store your DNA data, which you could use to identify you publicly on a website. That's all kept securely on encrypted servers way behind the scenes."

While Living DNA is doing its best to protect user data from malicious actors, Nicholson also reassured customers that their data would never be willingly given to anyone looking to profit off of it.

"We will absolutely never sell data, never pass it on," he said. "We are custodians of your data, and therefore it's kept secure, safe, and encrypted for you, never to be sold."

For full interview, click here.