The process of a DNA sample and the protection of privacy
The DNA sequence is 99.9% similar in humans. It is the 0.1% that differentiates us from others. DNA tests are therefore the most reliable method of verifying a person’s genetic identification and establishing a relationship! But how does DNA fingerprinting take place? And what about privacy?
The course of a biological sample
To carry out DNA expertise, it is essential to have the authorization of the person concerned or of a parent if he is a minor, before taking DNA samples. The refusal to submit, especially in the context of paternity, is similar to an admission of paternity.
- Collection of a saliva sample;
- The blood test.
It is possible to submit a sample from home by purchasing DNA test kits.
Buccal sampling technique
It is an operation that consists of making a smear against the inner wall of the cheek using a sterile cotton swab. This is the most common way to collect samples and start DNA analysis.
The blood test
This is a method very rarely used in the case of DNA analysis. It is indeed more painful than oral sampling.
But in both cases, certain conditions are necessary for the sample to be taken in the best conditions and for the test results to be conclusive:
- Avoid eating;
- Do not drink ;
- Do not smoke one hour before the operation.
It is however possible in the case of a paternity test, a test on one’s ethnic and genealogical origins, to use other samples in addition to saliva: sperm, blood, nails or hair.
The need to protect personal data
It is on this basis that it is possible to set up his family tree.
In terms of health, doing a DNA test to screen for an anomaly or a genetic disease can give indications of the risks weighing on loved ones. Then comes a concern regarding the respect for medical secrecy and the need to inform his relatives.
When ordering a DNA collection kit, be sure that the laboratory you are ordering from protects personal data.
Sensitive data according to the GDPR
Genetic testing is a procedure regulated by law. Indeed, the study of DNA profiles should not be done lightly. The genetic characteristics of a person are sensitive data whose processing is prohibited, except in exceptional cases.
According to the GDPR, there are two kinds of sensitive data: genetic testing and biometric data. Doing a test can therefore represent one of the offenses noted in the general regulations on the protection of personal data.
With regard to persons convicted or in the context of criminal proceedings, it is equally essential to respect the privacy of the persons concerned.
An evolving framework
Whether at the level of the Judicial Police or for personal reasons, it is imperative to adopt a legal regime allowing better management of these genetic tests carried out for personal purposes.