Your genes, your privacy: Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™ and your DNA
Genetic information is highly personal; it’s an intrinsic part of each of us. It helps tell the story of who we are, and it stays with us for our entire lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to consider some basic questions when you purchase a product that uses this information. Who owns your DNA data? How is this information being used? Are the policies governing the use of your DNA information clear and transparent?
Mayo Clinic takes your privacy seriously—and you’ll find this commitment throughout every part of Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™ is a genetic testing experience that can help you understand how genetics can affect your health, featuring education across several categories like disease risk and medication response. Here are some of the steps we take to help protect your privacy.
When you use Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™, neither Mayo Clinic nor Helix (which sequences your DNA and provides your genetic data to Mayo Clinic) sell your information. Helix provides only the portions of your sequence to Mayo Clinic that are a part of the Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™ gene panel. We also use strong encryption and strict policies to help keep your information private and safe.
Commitment to privacy
Helix shares Mayo Clinic’s commitment to privacy, and has joined forces with the Future of Privacy Forum and other personal genomics companies to establish a list of privacy best practices for consumer genomics. These best practices—which cover guidelines around transparency, consent, security, education, and other pillars of data privacy—are designed to safeguard individuals as they discover more about themselves through DNA testing.
It is incumbent upon the organizations handling DNA information to do so safely, securely, and with the privacy of customers placed front and center. When you purchase a product offered in the Helix Store—like Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™—you are always in control of how and when your genetic information is used, because it’s your right.