Have questions? Click here to livechat!
To order over the phone 800-395-1694
Home > Contact > Genetic testing facts

The Need to Know Facts about Genetic Profiling

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to genetic profiling and how it’s leveraged against individuals. For starters lets be sure we’re on the same page on the definition of genetic testing…

Genetic testing defined:

“Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, allows the determination of bloodlines and the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases.”

And, here are some facts you need to understand in order to protect your privacy as genetic profiling has become a major issue and concern in all industries.


  • Testing of genetic material is performed on: urine, blood, saliva, hair, stool, body tissues and bone.
  • Cells in these samples are isolated and the DNA within them is extracted and examined for possible mutations or alterations.  Looking at small portions of the DNA is done to pinpoint the exact location of genetic errors.
  • Genetic testing can provide definitive diagnosis as well as help predict the odds of developing a particular disease before symptoms even appear.
  • It can tell if a person is carrying a specific gene that could be passed on to his or her children.
  • Your genes have a substantial influence on several very serious and common illnesses such as: asthma, diabetes, most cancers, heart disease, etc.
  • There is growing evidence linking genetic factors to mental illness.
  • DNA testing is growing faster than the laws can restrict its use for genetic profiling.
  • There are about 900 genetic tests being offered by diagnostic laboratories. Look here if you’d like to get a taste for these tests.

Advances in information technology, while beneficial to improving daily life, have also proven to be a boom for government and private entities. And in each case of informational abuse, the cause of defending privacy seems to be increasingly a losing proposition.

Finding updated facts on genetic profiling is very limited, however here is some information from the past.

YEAR 2002

Among the abuses documented by the ACLU:

  • A Maryland banker improperly accessed the medical records of bank customers to see who had been diagnosed with cancer. Armed with this information, the bank immediately foreclosed on their loans!
  • A recent University of Illinois study found that 35 percent of all Fortune 500 companies consult medical records before they hire or promote an employee.
  • A 1997 survey by the American Management Association found that as many as 10 percent of 6,000 companies used genetic testing for employment purposes.
  • The Council for Responsible Genetics, an advocacy group in Massachusetts, has documented hundreds of cases in which healthy people have been denied insurance or a job based on genetic "predictions."
  • Two hundred and six cases of genetic discrimination against asymptomatic individuals were documented in a 1996 study conducted by Harvard and Stanford universities. The individuals involved suffered loss of employment, loss of insurance coverage, or ineligibility for insurance based on the genetic potential for disease--not on any current maladies or symptoms.
  • In another survey, conducted jointly by several federal agencies, 550 people were found to have been denied jobs or health insurance due to genetic predisposition to certain illnesses.

    Nearly a third (31 percent) of members of families with inherited diseases were found to have been denied insurance coverage even though they displayed no symptoms, in a survey cited in congressional testimony by the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins. It is safe to assume that there are numerous other cases, unrecorded, of people unaware of the reasons they were not hired, were fired, and so on.

Continue your research with the links below:

ACLU Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace Fact Sheet: https://www.aclu.org/other/genetic-discrimination-workplace-factsheet?redirect=cpredirect/13389

President Bush Signs Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

Former President Clinton signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal agencies from considering a person's genetic information in hiring or promotion decisions.

Legislation on Genetic Discrimination

Woman With Breast Cancer Gene Files First Genetic Discrimination Lawsuit In U.S.

Genetic Information and the Workplace

EEOC vs. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad settles for 2.2Mil

The National Workrights Institute: Issue: Genetic Discrimination

Last update: 02.04.2019