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Why Does Anonymity Matter?

Data breaches happen daily, in too many places to keep count.

Facebook and Google recently acknowledged data breaches affecting millions of their users. Other corporations whose data has been breached this century include Equifax, eBay, JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, Yahoo, Target, Adobe, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Is the highly personal genetic information stored at companies like 23andme and AncestryDNA any less vulnerable?

If your genetic information is hacked like so much other data on the Internet, it could be sold. The purchasing parties could, in turn, make powerful inferences about your health and likely longevity. That could conceivably lead companies to limit opportunities that would otherwise be available to you, such as health or life insurance or even, perhaps, whether you are hired for a job.

Your DNA is one of the most personal and comprehensive sources of information about you. Given that, you will likely want to be very careful regarding who has access to it.