TV and online marketing have helped propel a surge in public interest in direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing. The ads tout the ability to determine one’s racial and ethnic makeup, find unknown relatives, and even identify health traits through a simple mouth swab. But as an increasing number of consumers are purchasing these kits, are they being adequately informed about the accuracy of the tests and the fact that the results can vary widely from one company to another? Do the companies clearly disclose how they may use consumers’ data, including for marketing purposes? How do the companies’ claims in their marketing compare to what we know about how their products work and with their terms of service and privacy policies? CFA will research these issues and use its findings to provide advice for consumers about choosing and using these products and recommendations for companies and policymakers about any improvements in pre-purchase disclosures that may be needed.
Consumer Federation of America
Marketing Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Are Consumers Getting What They Think They Are?
Consumer Products Fund, 2019