(Arstechnica) It’s hard to imagine a more sensitive type of personal information than your own genetic blueprints. With varying degrees of accuracy, the four-base code can reveal bits of your family’s past, explain some of your current traits and health, and may provide a glimpse into your future with possible conditions and health problems you could face. And that information doesn’t just apply to you but potentially your blood relatives, too.
Most people would likely want to keep the results of genetic tests highly guarded—if they want their genetic code deciphered at all. But, as STAT reports, a new bill that is quietly moving through the House would allow companies to strong-arm their employees into taking genetic tests and then sharing that data with unregulated third parties as well as the employer. Employees that resist could face penalties of thousands of dollars.
In the past, such personal information has been protected by a law called GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which shields people from DNA-based discrimination. But the new bill, HR 1313, gets around this by allowing genetic testing to be part of company wellness programs.