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Retired FBI agent reveals the hidden threats of home DNA test kits and why people should avoid them

A former FBI agent cautions people against the DNA test kits they try at home and reveals startling risks.

Retired FBI agent reveals the hidden threats of home DNA test kits and why people should avoid them
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books

DNA test kits seem to be an emerging trend among people. These compact test kits allow individuals to send in their DNA to companies that would then put them in contact with previously unknown relatives. While this may sound very intriguing and exciting, there are many dangers to giving away one's DNA to a company like that. TikTok influencer Steve Lazarus (@steve.lazarus.books), who happens to be a retired FBI agent, shared a video cautioning people about these test kits and why they should avoid using them. The video has become popular, gaining over 5.4 million views and over 8K comments on the social media site.

Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books
Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books

The video is part of a series he calls "Things I would never do as a retired FBI agent." He shares how he wants to talk about the home DNA test kits that allowed people to discover long-lost relatives. He says, "Well, for me, it's a hard no. And if you wanted a reason in one word, it's privacy." The man states how many of these companies "promise" to protect user data, but these were not reliable. To substantiate, he shares an incident that took place in 2019 when a detective in Florida was allowed by the court to "blanket search" a million records in one of these DNA databases to find one of his subjects.

Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books
Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books

Since he was on the subject of misusing data, the man adds how health insurance companies would really want an individual's DNA to decide whether they should give out funds for certain treatments. He continues, "And even if you're satisfied that the company you're doing business with does adequately protect your privacy, what if they get hacked?" Viewers then get to see a screenshot of a news article about a hacker getting into a DNA database in October 2023. His concerns did not stop there.

Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books
Image Source: TikTok | @steve.lazarus.books

He also presented a scenario where the company was taken over by another corporation that did not espouse the same moral or ethical values. The man concludes by saying, "Look, I understand that some people might want this to find their birth parent or some other legitimate reason, but for my money, it's not for me." People on the social media site found the man's insights about DNA test kits interesting and chimed in with their thoughts in the comments section. @westhompson02 harrowingly pointed out, "If anyone in your family has ever done it, they got you anyway."

 

Image Source: TikTok | @kaitlynelise61
Image Source: TikTok | @kaitlynelise61

 

Image Source: TikTok | @c.denise90
Image Source: TikTok | @c.denise90

This seemed true as @mariellesays shared, "I saw a show that said even if you don't do one of those kits, they can find your DNA markups through family members of yours that have done it." @roxybecker29x said, "I have had my kit for three years and haven't done it yet! I don't think I want them knowing any more about me than they already do!" @andreabohls commented, "How do we know our personal medical files are kept safe? Nothing is safe anymore. Everything goes out. It's been this way for years. Nothing new." @essemullins said, "People always think I'm crazy when I say this. I just pull my tin foil hat down tighter and stay away from the DNA tests."

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