23andMe continues to make headlines for both its work and its CEO

Gender inequality concerns and ongoing privacy concerns aren’t slowing this powerhouse down

Quick notes

  • The popular DNA company 23andMe continues to gain popularity despite privacy concerns

  • Genetic companies like 23andMe are providing consumers with an unprecedented amount of personal and genetic information

  • 23andMe CEO and co-founder, Anne Wojcicki, has made headlines recently for signing on against Forbes list of innovative leaders that only included one female CEO

DNA and ancestry test companies are everywhere. Their popularity just shows how much we want to know about ourselves. From potential health concerns to finding out where our ancestors hail from, these companies provide insights we’ve never had access to before.

The popular DNA company, 23andMe continues to gain popularity despite privacy concerns. We’ll take a closer look at this controversial business and how it is shaping an industry.

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What is the 23andMe DNA kit?

Genetic companies like 23andMe are providing consumers with an unprecedented amount of personal and genetic information.

These services analyze your DNA across all of your mitochondria and chromosomes. The pieces of DNA that are looked at are called SNPs or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms. These are what can tell your ancestry. You’ll even be able to tell the origins of your ancient ancestors.

With the health and ancestry kits, you’ll also be able to learn more about your personal traits, health, and wellness. Saliva is sent into a lab to be analyzed and your results are revealed two to three weeks later online.

The process is pretty simple and in just a couple of weeks, consumers are given thousands of pieces of information about themselves and their ancestors.

What the family DNA and ancestry kit information can be used for

If you have concerns regarding your health and potential risks for certain diseases, DNA test kits can shed some light on your health concerns. With chromosome testing, you’ll be able to see your risks for certain diseases. You’ll also be able to learn more about your personal traits.

Skeptics of these companies argue that the results of these tests can sometimes cause people to make questionable health decisions. While it may seem attractive to know your risks of contracting certain diseases, there is always the chance you won’t get it and what do you do with the information once you have it?

In terms of your ancestors, knowing where you came from is a fun insight to have. People are often surprised by the results.

Should I be concerned about DNA test privacy?

Genetic testing companies such as 23andMe feature privacy notices and opt-in to allow your genetic information to be shared with third-party researchers and medical professionals. This information can be useful in clinical and research studies to help find cures for diseases, treatments, and medications.

Despite the privacy concerns, thousands of consumers are still willing to sign up and spit into a cup for their results. According to a CNBC report, 80% of 23andMe users opted-in to have their genetic data charges with their research partners. This is a clear majority of consumers that are willing to share their genetic makeup with the research and scientific community.

A 23andMe spokeswoman also commented that if people do not consent then their data is shared. If you’re concerned about privacy, know that there is still a lot of regulation and legislation for these companies over the years to come.

If you’re uncomfortable sharing any information, don’t purchase these services or make sure you read all of the literature and opt-out to sharing your data.

23andMe CEO makes headlines

23andMe CEO and co-founder, Anne Wojcicki, has made headlines recently for signing on against Forbes list of innovative leaders that only included one female CEO. Author of the book, Girls Who Run The World, Diana Kapp penned a letter to Forbes urging them to rethink their list criteria after only one female CEO was awarded a spot on their list.

With a powerhouse, female CEO, and thousands of trusting and happy customers, 23andMe is a company to watch out for in this burgeoning industry.

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