At-home DNA kits from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com could pose a security risk for members of the military, the Pentagon is warning in an internal memo obtained by Yahoo.com.
The companies, and a growing list of similar businesses, sell testing kits that allow customers to determine their DNA profile using a cheek swab or saliva sample. The tests allow customers to trace their ancestry, track potential medical problems and even locate relatives.
According to Yahoo.com, top Pentagon officials are concerned such information could find its way into the wrong hands.
“Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operation risks to Service members,” according to the Dec. 20 memo obtained by Yahoo.com and signed by Joseph D. Kernan, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and James N. Stewart, assistant secretary of defense for manpower.
The memo says the genetics tests are “largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information” and “potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and the mission.”
However, the memo provides few details on how genetic profiles could endanger security other than noting that potential “inaccuracies” in health information could pose a risk to troops who are required to report medical issues, Yahoo.com reporter.