The news has been filled with mentions of DNA tests over the last two days due to Elizabeth Warren’s ill-conceived PR campaign to prove her ancestry.
Senator Lindsay Graham recently reported that he plans on having a DNA test as well, which could continue the discussion in the news cycle for another week and providing more free advertising for DNA testing companies.
So this is a good time to mention that you should avoid any store bought DNA kits or tests that advertise on TV. These companies, such as 23andMe have shady connections to government contractors and intelligence agency front companies around the world.
Not only that, they are collecting this DNA information in a similar fashion to the way Facebook started collecting information in their early days despite them not having the technology to properly mine that information. Their whole goal was just to snag the information first, then wait for the technology to catch up to exploit that data.
This is how modern data mining companies like these DNA firms operate. Get the data on people first, then wait for the technology to mine it which will come in about 2 to 5 years. These DNA testing companies are basically data mining companies in disguise. But instead of collecting personal photos like Facebook, they are collecting your most personal biological information.
In the early days of Facebook, they didn’t have the technology to run all those photos through facial recognition programs to identify all the people in those photos. However, that technology was eventually developed and Facebook conveniently already had the photos with the people’s names ready to feed into their recognition software database.
These DNA testing companies are doing the same thing. At the moment they most likely don’t have the technology to fully exploit all the DNA they are collecting. But just like Facebook, in a few years they will have the technology to mine that DNA in order to exploit the information it holds. But by then most people will have already submitted their DNA, so trying to stop it will be futile.
So be on the lookout for friends and family who may be thinking about using one of these shady DNA testing companies. They are mining data – your personal biological data in order to mine it and exploit it at a later date.
It won’t be long before these DNA testing companies make the privacy-invading practices of Facebook look minuscule in comparison.
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