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Mon Dec 23, 2019, 03:19 PM

Exclusive: Pentagon warns military members DNA kits pose 'personal and operational risks'

Source: Yahoo News

The Pentagon is advising members of the military not to use consumer DNA kits, saying the information collected by private companies could pose a security risk, according to a memo co-signed by the Defense Departmentís top intelligence official.

A growing number of companies like 23andMe and Ancestry sell testing kits that allow buyers to get a DNA profile by sending in a cheek swab or saliva sample. The DNA results provide consumers information on their ancestry, insights into possible medical risks and can even identify previously unknown family members.

The boom in popularity of such kits has raised ethical and legal issues, since some companies have shared this data with law enforcement or sold it to third parties. The Defense Department is now expressing its own concerns about these kits.

ďExposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Service members,Ē says the Dec. 20 memo signed by Joseph D. Kernan, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and James N. Stewart, the assistant secretary of defense for manpower.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-warns-military-members-dna-kits-pose-personal-and-operational-risks-173304318.html

19 replies, 2341 views

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Reply Exclusive: Pentagon warns military members DNA kits pose 'personal and operational risks' (Original post)
Zorro Dec 2019 OP
Quemado Dec 2019 #1
sdfernando Dec 2019 #2
Igel Dec 2019 #5
sdfernando Dec 2019 #6
maxrandb Dec 2019 #18
Historic NY Dec 2019 #3
BlueTsunami2018 Dec 2019 #4
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2019 #7
EllieBC Dec 2019 #8
Jedi Guy Dec 2019 #10
MissMillie Dec 2019 #11
EllieBC Dec 2019 #17
jpak Dec 2019 #9
ProfessorGAC Dec 2019 #16
James48 Dec 2019 #12
reACTIONary Dec 2019 #13
SharonAnn Dec 2019 #14
LittleGirl Dec 2019 #15
Hotler Dec 2019 #19

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 04:27 PM

1. DNA testing on a consumer level is a risk for everyone, not just the military.

https://gizmodo.com/why-a-dna-test-is-actually-a-really-bad-gift-1820934113
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/what-you-re-giving-away-those-home-dna-tests-n824776

Reasons for not getting your DNA tested (consumer type test, i.e. 23 and me, etc.):

1. Privacy, or lack thereof.
2. The information can be shared without your knowledge, depending on the company's policy. ďThere is no legal limit on what they could do other than the agreement that you enter into with them which they may or may not choose to follow,Ē Greely added. ďIf they donít follow it, the chance you would ever find out is very, very low.Ē https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/what-you-re-giving-away-those-home-dna-tests-n824776
3. Genetic data can be used against you.
4. Genetic data can affect your insurance coverage.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 04:38 PM

2. Wow....they are just NOW realizing this? /NT

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 05:42 PM

5. Did they say that?

Or perhaps they're just announcing information they've known, or repeating what they previously announced to a prior generation of recruits.

Can't know from what's said. All that's left are our assumptions, not any conclusion.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 05:48 PM

6. Well the referenced memo is dated Dec 20

but as you point out there is no way to tell from this article when/if this was communicated out previously.

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 07:38 PM

18. I had to give up my DNA sample when I was on active duty

When I retired, I asked for it back... they laughed.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 04:45 PM

3. Ancestry doesn't not share,

but if you want to try one of those other sites they will let you send your DNA there.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 05:14 PM

4. I've said this from the beginning.

Big brother doesnít need to be watching when people flock to give away their information.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 05:55 PM

7. Maybe they don't want to pay benefits to previously unknown kids.

My boyfriend is certain he has unknown siblings around the globe. His dad was a good god fearing Christian with 5 marriages under his belt.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 06:05 PM

8. We have an entire generation coming up who do not value privacy.

They donít care who sees their info or has their info. They know that the cell phone company will give them a new phone every year if they just give them their old one and they donít even think twice about that. They are willing to put all of their personal information online and they donít think it matters. No one ever had to worry about the government or corporations getting their info because they have convinced parts of some older generations and almost an entire younger generation to happily offer it up.


The DNA kits should have been a red flag to everyone.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 07:00 PM

10. I've never understood the "share my entire life" culture. It's absurd to me.

One, I don't delude myself into thinking that my life is that interesting because honestly, it really isn't. The only people I expect to care about my life are my family and friends, and even then I don't feel the need to obsessively share every little detail. I don't understand why some people seem to need external validation from people they barely know, or don't know at all.

And two, once you give that information away, there's no getting it back. As a wise person once said, "The Internet is forever, children." Even if you delete your Facebook profile entirely, Facebook still has the data in a server farm somewhere, and they just can't wait to sell it to someone. Ditto Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google, Apple, etc. etc.

As another wise person once said, "Every business sells a product of some kind. For Facebook, the product is you."

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 08:15 PM

11. Could that be because the GOP

doesn't believe privacy is protected?

It used to be that if you were not home, you didn't get the phone call. Somehow we all survived.

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Response to MissMillie (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 10:33 AM

17. I don't think you can easily write this off as political.

We like toys. And we are increasingly convinced we need these toys and will happily give up our rights for them.

Religion isnít the opiate of the masses anymore. Itís tech.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 06:32 PM

9. No DNA test, No Alexa, No Echo and No Facebook

Not for me!

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Response to jpak (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 08:50 AM

16. Check! Check! Check!

You described us as well as yourself.
As someone said above, I don't get the fascination with putting one's life on constant display.
If one is a major player in performing arts, that comes with the territory. But, the reward offsets the risks.
What do ordinary folks get out of this full bore exposure?

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 10:03 PM

12. Yet- the Pentagon itself has been

Obtaining DNA swabs from every military member for more than 20 years.

Mandatory. You have no choice as a military member but to provide it.

Go figure.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:06 PM

13. It's fun, it's informative, and it can lead...

... connect you to family members and relatives unknown to you. Whats the big deal?

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 23, 2019, 11:29 PM

14. Through 23andme, we found a nephew who was looking for his birth father.

Unfortunately, his father is deceased but we have been able to connect him to a large and loving family. We are so glad to know him and welcome him into the family.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Dec 24, 2019, 02:46 AM

15. Too late for me.

I had it done for health reasons about 5 yrs ago. Best decision I ever made. My doctor was able to prescribe proper supplements to defeat my DNA deficiencies so I'm healthier now than when I was growing up.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Dec 25, 2019, 10:55 AM

19. I encoueage everyone not to use DNA kits. Your DNA is your ultimate password or PIN.

Stop giving your DNA to the corporations, they will use it against you (think health insurance denial or insane cost). Just like you should never talk to the cops without an attorney present, you never give up your DNA without a court order.

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