Genetic Ancestry Test – Releasing the Results of Your Genetic Ancestry Test

The results of a genetic ancestry test are a personal and private matter, yet thousands of genealogists are releasing their results to the public on a daily basis. One might question if this is such a good idea, whether someone could steal your DNA as they can your identity these days. There are others who say that it is integral that those who undergo a genetic ancestry test release their results for the greater good of the genealogical community. Many have questions about this topic, and as many have their opinion. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of releasing the results of your genetic ancestry test.

Why Release the Results of Your Genetic Ancestry Test?

There are many reasons why genealogists such as members of the Genome Project release the results of their genetic ancestry results for public access. Some of these reasons are:

  • They wish to release the results of their genetic ancestry test to further scientific study to combat health and medical issues
  • They want to bring the topic of genetic privacy to the fore and promote constructive dialogue on the subject
  • They hope to find a relative
  • To alleviate the fears people have about releasing the results of their own genetic ancestry test

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Releasing the results of your genetic ancestry test to a large publicly accessible database like the Genome Project can be quite scary, but there are procedures and legislature in place to protect your genetic privacy. As yet, it is not possible for identity thieves to use your DNA to your detriment in anyway, but who knows what the future might bring. The issue of genetic privacy is definitely one to be considered.

Those researchers involved in analyzing genetic ancestry test results will be quick to tell you of the burdensome bureaucratic obstacles they face related to privacy, simply because identity is fiercely protected during genetic research. That hasn't stopped huge progress in DNA research being made over the years, and those in favour of maintaining rigid privacy policies will be as quick to make that point.

Is There any Personal Benefit to Releasing the Results of My Genetic Ancestry Test?

There is no doubt that releasing the results of your genetic ancestry test can be beneficial to you and the genealogical community as a whole. The more people who allow access to the results of their genetic ancestry test, the greater the resource the scientific community has in researching disease prevention and cure. You also of course, increase the chances of connecting with family members that are missing from your family tree.

However, because of the potential misuse or abuse of genetic ancestry test results, many people are sceptical of contributing to science in such a personal way. Opponents of releasing genetic ancestry test results to the public domain say that; because your DNA is not completely your own, you are violating the privacy of family members that share your DNA, and who would not want the results of such a genetic ancestry test made available for anyone to see. This is a valid point, and one that should be discussed with family members before sharing the results of your own genetic ancestry test in a public database.

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This is a complex subject, one that may be argued for years to come. Perhaps the dangers of sharing your genetic ancestry test results are over exaggerated, but maybe future developments may leave a person's DNA open to unscrupulous manipulation. The field of ancestry testing is relatively new, and such a decision must of course be left up to the individual. Remain aware that a genetic ancestry test can't prove if you're related to someone, it can only show the probability that you are. DNA testing is only a tool to compliment the old fashioned genealogical tools such as hard work and dedication.

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