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June 21, 2018
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Genealogy testing is inherently creepy. After spitting into a vial and sending it off, your saliva's final resting place can be a mystery (unless it's accidentally sent to another customer).

That's why lawmakers want to protect your bodily fluids and the data they provide. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote a letter asking four major genetic testing companies to clarify their privacy and security policies, and they shared the letter with Stat.

The four companies that got a letter — 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and National Geographic Geno — haven't been embroiled in any scandals. But the Democrats told Stat they want to uncover potential problems in how data is used and stored before something does go wrong. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) similarly questioned these companies' ethics in November and pressed the FTC to ensure it was clear how customers' DNA would be used.

After all, earlier this month, testing company MyHeritage announced that it had accidentally leaked 92 million customers' email addresses, per Reuters. And McClatchy recently found some skeevy details about what Ancestry has done with the world's largest collection of human saliva. Questioning these companies early will hopefully avert a sticky situation. Read more at Stat. Kathryn Krawczyk