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How do we treat genetic data privacy at 24Genetics

Genetic analysis provides very sensitive information, such as the propensity to contract certain types of diseases, which is provided by DNA health tests. For this reason, few subjects are as sensitive in relation to privacy as the data extracted from the genotyping of DNA. At 24Genetics, we are aware of this reality and that’s why we respect the privacy of genetic testing as an enormous responsibility. This has led us to design policies and processes that ensure that the information our clients don’t want to share is not available to third parties or to 24Genetics’ own professionals.

 

Privacy of 24Genetics’ DNA tests

Data anonymization

For this purpose, one of the measures we adopt for the privacy of genetic data is the conversion of our client’s identity into a code, so that information related to the client’s first and last name, ID number, or gender is hidden even from our own team. Thus, we comply with the provisions of the biomedical law of July 2007, which defines anonymized data as “data that cannot be associated with an identified or identifiable person because the link with any information that identifies the subject has been destroyed, or because such association requires an unreasonable effort, understood as the use of a disproportionate amount of time, expense and labor”.

As an additional measure of protection, we have taken the decision that our customer’s data isn’t available online.

 

Use of data for research purposes

On the other hand, in recent years we have become aware of the controversy aroused worldwide by the sale and monetization of genetic data. At 24Genetics we include, among our principles, the non-commercialization of our client’s data to guarantee the privacy of their genetics. When the client fills the informed consent, we give them the choice between not sharing their genetic data or authorizing 24Genetics to use it anonymized for internal research purposes. Likewise, if at any time we decide to collaborate with any institution or platform, we would ask for the express consent of our clients, as we did in the agreement reached with IdiPAZ, Instituto de Investigación Universitario La Paz, to study whether there’s a genetic propensity for infection by the Covid-19 coronavirus to be more or less severe.

 

Raw data (Genotyping data)

Last but not least, if the customer wants to receive their raw data file with their genetic sequencing, we provide it in full. Similarly, the client can always request that we remove their genetic data from our files.

 

24Genetics and your peace of mind

At 24Genetics we believe that only from trust can we create a long-term relationship with our clients and, for this reason, we invest in those values that are most relevant to them, such as the privacy of their genetic data. This is our main commitment to the future.

Escrito por Dr. André Flores Bello

Genetista

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