Ethical Questions of Genomic Tests – Do Genomic Testing Companies Share Data With Insurance Companies?

There are plenty of ethical questions which can arise with looking at genomic data. Sometimes, companies may choose to share data with other people interested in your genomic data.

Recently, 23 and Me made headlines for sharing their customers’ genomic data with law enforcement for solving crimes. This sparked an intense debate – should companies such as 23 and Me be allowed to disclose your genomic data?

This is a huge ethical question. Law enforcement might need the data because they are looking to solve an unsolved crime. But, the concern is that this data sharing could also extend to sharing data with health insurance companies. If 23 and Me were to share with health insurance companies, they could then use the information to make a rate decision.

But, 23 and Me does state explicitly on their privacy policy that they do share information with law enforcement – and they do not share information with insurance companies.

It appears that the company is being honest about how they are disclosing information. A large company like 23 and Me wouldn’t want the possible bad press from sharing data about their customers.

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