NBC News is reporting that the Pentagon has told military personnel not to use home DNA testing kits.
According to a memo NBC News obtained, “Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan and James Stewart, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, said that DNA testing companies were targeting military members with discounts and other undisclosed incentives.”
The memo expressed concern that DNA companies’ policies may post a greater risk to military personnel than the general population. Inaccurate medical analysis impacting military medical disclosures, data being sold to third parties, data being used for surveillance and the possibility of tracking people without their consent were some of the specific concerns mentioned.
Experts have for some time been warning about the privacy implications of home DNA testing kits and the companies behind them. The fact that the Pentagon is taking such a strong stand certainly adds weight to those concerns.