menu iconknow your dna logosearch icon
How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
Updated on September 20, 2022
Back to top
back to top icon
hello world!
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.

Testing your DNA has become convenient nowadays. And it’s all thanks to direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA

These at-home DNA tests offer an easy way to learn more about yourself and your heritage.

DNA testing also gives insight into possible health risks. It can motivate you to make the right dietary and lifestyle changes, so you can help prevent them.

But when you send your DNA sample to testing companies, you also hand them essential information. Your results and raw data will also carry these privacy risks:

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

There are many ways you to keep yourself safe from the dangers of sharing your DNA. One of them is to ask the company to delete DNA test results from their database. 

We made an ultimate guide to deleting your data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, LivingDNA, MyHeritage, and GPS Origins.

How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service 2

Who Has Your Genetic Data?

If you’ve submitted DNA samples to a testing service, they’ll have your data in their system. 

These companies can keep your DNA data if you don’t delete them. Some companies will also store your sample unless you ask them to be destroyed.

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

Testing services that work with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified labs are also required to keep records of your DNA, sex, and birth date for quality control.

You should read a company’s privacy policies to find out who has access to your DNA.

Know Your DNA Reviews

The Best DNA Test

Looking for a DNA test that is both accurate and affordable?

Why Delete Your DNA?

DNA testing services have security measures and privacy policies to protect their customers. They know how sensitive your data is. So they have taken precautions to ensure its safety. 

However, the steps that DNA companies take are not entirely foolproof. 

Hackers, law enforcers, insurance companies, and many others can access your information for as long as your raw data file remains on their database.

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 got people’s information.
  • Law enforcement used DNA information stored by GEDMatch to track down the Golden State Killer.1 
  • FamilyTree DNA gave the FBI access to their database without a subpoena.2
  • 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.3

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.

You can download your raw DNA before deleting your information.

How to Delete 23andMe Account & Data

Key Takeaways on DNA Data Deletion

  • AncestryDNA and 23andMe are the most private DNA tests. They have comprehensive privacy policies and allow users to delete their DNA data. 
  • Some genetic testing companies don't clearly show how to delete your DNA data. 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.
  • With your consent, DNA testing companies can sell your genetic data to third parties or share them with law enforcement.
  • Your genetic data can be misused. But it shouldn’t stop you from sharing your genetic data with a reliable company. 

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?

Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She studied B.S. Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
Back to top icon