Military personnel have been advised to not use DNA testing services, a new memo reveals.
A December memo from the Pentagon, obtained by Yahoo News, was signed by Joseph D. Kernan, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and James N. Stewart, the assistant secretary of defense for manpower – it stated, “Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Service members.”
The Pentagon is cautioning military members not to use DNA kits; companies like 23andMe and Ancestry – which are largely unregulated, have become popular in determining information on ancestry, medical risks, and revealing unknown family members. But the kits have also raised legal and ethical concerns because some companies have shared the data with law enforcement or sold it to third parties.
The memo did not give details on how the DNA testing could pose a security risk except noting that possible “inaccuracies” in health information could be a risk to military personnel, who are required to report medical issues.