How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
Updated on April 16, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
DNA Testing
How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
KnowYourDNA is reader-supported. This means we may receive a commission when you buy something from one of the links on this page.

Deleting your DNA data can be simple. Use the “delete my DNA” page or contact the company with a request, including any necessary codes or log-in details for verification.

Each service is a little different and may take different amounts of time.

Here’s how to delete your DNA data from the following sites.

How to Delete Your Data from Different DNA Testing Services

We’ve outlined the necessary steps you need to take to delete your DNA data from these major testing companies. Some of these may also require you to delete your account.

23andMe

23andMe (read our review)

23andMe allows you to delete your account and most of your data. However, there are some things you need to know about the privacy of your DNA with 23andMe:

  • The company keeps your DNA samples, but you can request for them to destroy your samples
  • If you’ve consented to share your DNA with their research partners, your data will be available, but they won’t share it with future research programs
  • 23andMe will comply with the CLIA and keep some of your data
  • Law enforcers can access your genetic information if they present a subpoena
  • 23andMe gives you the option to permanently delete your data

To delete your raw DNA, log into 23andMe:

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

Click the Settings tab and scroll down to the very bottom. You’ll then find the option to delete your data.

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

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

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

23andMe will delete your DNA data permanently after 30 days.

You can also request to discard your saliva sample and delete your 23andMe account. Visit the Customer Care page and navigate to Accounts and Registration.

You’ll see the options in a bulleted list. Select Requesting Account Closure. Then, you can ask 23andMe to destroy your saliva sample.

Ancestry DNA

Ancestry (read our review)

Ancestry allows you to delete your DNA data and your account. Here’s how the company protects your privacy:

  • AncestryDNA can still use your DNA data for ongoing research or completed studies if you initially give them your consent, even if you ask to delete your genetic data later
  • Deleting your Ancestry DNA account will also delete your data

To delete your account, log in and navigate to this page. 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 Ancestry data. But if you want to destroy your spit sample, you must call Member Services.

Living DNA

LivingDNA (read our review)

You need to ask LivingDNA to delete your data and account. Their process, however, lacks transparency, which may not be a good sign for DNA security.

Screenshot of DNA deletion page for Living DNA.

The company provides little information on the type of data they store. But their privacy policy states they will keep your DNA sample for ten years after you give it to them.

But they can get rid of it sooner if you request to close your account or destroy your sample. However, LivingDNA doesn’t let you manually delete your data—they handle the process themselves.

If you wish to have your DNA data deleted from their database, LivingDNA will ask you to fill out a form:

Screenshot of DNA deletion for LivingDNA.

MyHeritage

MyHeritage DNA deletion (read the review)

MyHeritage has a robust privacy policy. The company allows you to revoke your permissions at any time. You can also delete your DNA results permanently and ask them to destroy your sample.4

You can ask MyHeritage to discard your DNA sample by emailing them at privacy@myheritage.com. The following steps will help you delete your DNA data.

First, go to the DNA tab on the top menu bar and select Manage DNA Kits.

Navigation for MyHeritage DNA deletion.

Click the three vertical dots on the kit you want to be deleted. Select Delete your data:

Screenshot of MyHeritage DNA deletion section.

GPS Origins

GPS Origins (read the review)

According to GPS Origins, they destroy your sample after they extract your DNA data. Contact GPS Origins to delete your DNA data from their database.

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

Additionally, upon contacting HomeDNA for data deletion, we were informed that their IT team would have to process the DNA deletion.

At-home DNA tests like 23andMe and AncestryDNA offer easy ways to learn more about yourself and your heritage.

DNA testing also provides insight into possible health risks. It can motivate you to make the right dietary and lifestyle changes to help prevent any potential congenital disorders or chromosomal conditions.

But when you send your DNA sample to testing companies, you might also unknowingly put your DNA data at risk.

The things that can potentially happen to your data include the following:

  • Hackers can gain access to DNA databases and leak your information
  • Your DNA files can be sold or shared with third parties like pharmaceutical companies
  • DNA companies can change their privacy policies and put your data at risk

You can keep yourself safe from the dangers of sharing your DNA in many ways.1 One of them is to ask the company to delete your DNA test results from their database. 

How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service 2

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

Who Has Your Genetic Data?

DNA testing companies likely retain your genetic information. It commonly happens when you’ve used their services and didn’t explicitly request to delete your data afterward. Even if you no longer access the website or keep tabs on the company, they can keep your DNA files.

You should read a company’s policies to determine who can access your DNA and address your privacy concerns. Some companies will continue storing your sample without your request for deletion, making it potentially accessible.

DNA testing companies can sell your genetic data or even share it with law enforcement and third parties, like medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies.

DNA testing companies working with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified labs must keep records of your DNA, sex, and birth date for quality control.

Watch our Podcast

How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
Know Your DNA Podcast

Why Delete Your DNA Data?

You should delete your DNA data for your own personal safety, privacy, and security. Even if a DNA testing company has great security, the wrong people can still use or access the most secure servers and anything can happen to your data.

DNA testing services have security measures and privacy policies to protect their customers. They know how sensitive your data is.

However, despite the precautionary measures to ensure data safety, the steps that DNA companies take may only be partially foolproof. 

As long as your raw data file remains on your DNA testing company’s database, hackers, law enforcers, insurance companies, and other third parties can access your information.

Below are some examples where genetic information was compromised:

  • MyHeritage had a data breach that exposed the emails and passwords of 92 million users. The hackers didn’t directly access DNA data, but they could find people’s information.
  • Law enforcement used DNA information stored by GEDMatch to track down the Golden State Killer.2
  • FamilyTree DNA gave the FBI access to its database without a subpoena.3
  • The U.S. Congress approved a bill that allows companies to get DNA testing for their employees. Employees must also share this information with their employers.4

If you’re concerned about the security and privacy of your raw DNA, you should ask for your sample to be destroyed and your data to be permanently deleted.

Some companies have the option to download your raw DNA before deleting your information from their database.

Key Takeaways on DNA Data Deletion

  • AncestryDNA and 23andMe top the list of the most private genetic tests. They have comprehensive privacy policies and allow users to delete their DNA data. 
  • Not all genetic testing companies have a straightforward or transparent process for data deletion. You may consider this factor in choosing a DNA testing company.
  • Other companies let you download your raw DNA. You can upload this data to other sites and learn more about your DNA.
  • DNA testing companies can, with your consent, sell your genetic data to third parties or share them with law enforcement.
  • Your genetic data can potentially be misused. But it shouldn’t stop you from sharing your genetic data with a reliable company. Always check a company’s security and data handling policies when opting for its services.

Know Your DNA Reviews

The Best DNA Test

Looking for a DNA test that's accurate and can tell you about your health and heritage?

Updated on April 16, 2024
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.