According to the New York Times, the Pentagon warned military members from using at-home DNA tests in an internal memo.
The memo notes mail-in consumer DNA kits such as 23andme or Ancestry could pose a potential security risk.
“Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks to Services members,” the memo reads. “These [direct-to-consumer] genetic 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 mission.” The memo also claims that some consumer DNA kit businesses were targeting service members with discounts.
The internal memo was confirmed by a Pentagon spokesperson, according to the New York Times. It is important to note that unlike other jobs, the laws that protect civilians for genetic discrimination do not apply to military members, who must report medical issues. As a result, a service member finds out they are predisposed to a condition, which could affect their future career in the military.
The Pentagon explained to the New York Times military personnel are not banned from genetic testing but would prefer service members to rely on licensed professionals.
It is important to note that DNA you send in an at-home DNA kit can be used by law enforcement agencies to solve crimes. It was used to capture the infamous famous Golden State serial killer in 2018. In addition, DNA databases, like other companies, have the potential to be hacked by hackers.