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How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
Updated on May 28, 2023
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How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service
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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 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

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

We made an ultimate guide to deleting your data from some of the biggest names in the DNA testing industry, including 23andMe, AncestryDNA, LivingDNA, and so on.


While at-home DNA testing kits offer exciting insights into your health and ancestry, they also pose a risk to your data privacy. When you send your DNA sample to companies, you also share your genetic information.

How to Delete Your Data From Every DNA Testing Service 2

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.

You should read a company’s privacy policies to find out who has access to your DNA. Without your specific request, some companies will continue storing your sample, 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 are also required to keep records of your DNA, sex, and birth date for quality control.


DNA testing companies can keep your genetic data when you use their services. You can determine who has access to your DNA data by reading a company's privacy policies.

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Why Delete Your DNA 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 were able to 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.


You should delete your DNA data from a company's database to lessen the risk of data breaches. As long as your information remains with them, it's susceptible to hackers. Other third parties like law enforcers and insurance companies can also gain access to your data.

How to Delete 23andMe Account & Data

Key Takeaways on DNA Data Deletion

  • AncestryDNA and 23andMe top the list of the most private DNA 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.

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Updated on May 28, 2023
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.
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