McGuireWoods’ Justin Yedor Comments on California Genetic Data Privacy Protections

September 10, 2020

Bloomberg Law quoted McGuireWoods Los Angeles associate Justin Yedor in a Sept. 1, 2020, story on state efforts to regulate how direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies can use, sell and share genetic information.

Though there are some federal laws that regulate genetic data, they are tailored to medical, insurance and employment contexts. Without federal legislation in place, states are addressing regulatory gaps to ease consumer privacy concerns and to prevent genetic data from being used in unexpected ways.

Of a new targeted privacy law in California that would require genetic testing companies to get consent from customers before disclosing their data and would give customers the right to request that companies destroy their biological sample, Yedor said it remains to be seen what effect the California bill would have on companies’ practices across state lines.

“This is just one law in one state,” said Yedor, who wrote about the law in a Feb. 25 post for McGuireWoods’ Password Protected blog. Are direct-to-consumer companies “going to provide these rights strictly for Californians or are they going to extend them to all consumers regardless of jurisdiction?”

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