How to Delete Your Data from every DNA testing service

While testing your DNA is convenient, many consumers worry about leaving their DNA data out in the DNA company’s hands.

This guide will go through how to delete your Data from every DNA testing service. This will include deletion instructions for all major consumer testing companies, such as 23andMe, Ancestry, LivingDNA, MyHeritage, and GPS origins.

Why do this?

These companies take serious precautions to protect their users, but one can’t be too careful about these things. Below are a few of the events that have occurred:

MyHeritage had a breach where 92 million emails/passwords were leaked. It should be noted that this didn’t include any DNA data, and even the passwords weren’t plaintext, so nothing sensitive was acquired.
Police used GEDMatch data to find the Golden State Killer.
Congress has approved a bill to allow your employer to see your DNA information.
FamilyTree DNA gave the FBI access to their database (other companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry require subpoenas to provide this).

For the privacy-focused consumer, it might just be best to delete your data from these sites, but this is a decision you should consider.

23andMe (read our review)

23andMe allows you to delete your data, but there are some limitations:

  • If you’ve consented to share your DNA with their research partners, this data will still be available to them, but it won’t be shared with future research programs.
  • 23andMe will comply with the CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), and retain some of the data

To delete your DATA, login into 23andMe:

Menu Bar for 23andMe to delete your DNA data on 23andMe

Click the Settings tab and scroll down the very bottom. Here you will find the “delete your data” option:

Section of 23andMe's website to delete DNA data.

If you click the view link, you can see the permanently delete your data option:

Confirmation text that 23andMe sends you to confirm you want to delete your DNA data.

Your DNA data will be permanently deleted after 30 days.

Ancestry (read our review)

Ancestry allows data deletion with the following limitations:

  • If you’ve permitted Ancestry to use your data for research purposes, you can’t delete the previous data, but it won’t allow them to use it for future research
  • Deleting your account will also delete your data.

To have Ancestry delete your spit sample, you must call Member Services to do so.

To delete your account, log into your account. Then navigate to:

https://www.ancestry.com/secure/account/delete

This will bring you to the following screen:

Confirmation text that Ancestry.com shows you before deleting your DNA data.

Follow the steps to delete your DNA data.

LivingDNA (read our review)

Living DNA requires you to contact them to delete your data/account. There is very little information regarding how their data deletion works and what is retained and how your data is deleted.

Screenshot of DNA deletion page for Living DNA.

You can submit a request at the following URL:

https://support.livingdna.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Screenshot of DNA deletion for LivingDNA.

All of DNA deletion at LivingDNA is done manually. Submit a request, and they will take care of it.

MyHeritage DNA deletion (read the review)

MyHeritage has a robust data deletion policy. Their Privacy Policy states:

“The license you grant to us is not perpetual, and it is revocable as you are able at any time to delete your DNA Results and DNA Reports permanently from the Website and to have us destroy your DNA samples.”

  • You can have MyHeritage delete the physical DNA by contacting them at privacy@myheritage.com
  • You can delete the DNA data by following these steps:

Go to the DNA tab on the top menu bar and select “Manage DNA Kits.”

Navigation for MyHeritage DNA deletion.

Click the 3 vertical dots on the kit you want to delete the data and select “delete your data”:

Screenshot of MyHeritage DNA deletion section.

GPS Origins DNA deletion (review)

GPS Origins states that your sample is destroyed after they extract your DNA data. To delete the DNA data, you must navigate to the following URL:

https://homedna.com/contact

Screenshot of contact us for GPS origins. The only way to delete your DNA data.

I contacted HomeDNA, and they let me know that their IT team would have to process the DNA deletion.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide on how to delete your data from every DNA testing company was helpful, drop a note with any questions.

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