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Genetic testing for Apple employees… cool or creepy?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Apple rolls out the possibility of genetic testing for it’s employees, but how can they use that information? For employee or company benefit?

genetic testing

Apple is starting to unveil a new perk to employees, but it looks less like something out of a cheesy HR video and more like something from a sci-fi: genetic testing. That’s right, employees can get genetic screenings through Apple’s clinic, AC Wellness.

AC Wellness is not staffed by Apple employees, but it was started in 2018 as a way to treat Apple workers and their families. There are now several health facilities open that offer a variety of treatments, with the most recent being the genetic screening.

Granted, AC Wellness itself isn’t doing the testing – they’ve paired with the company Color Genomics. Unlike do-it-yourself kits from other companies like Ancestry.com, Color is sold through medical professionals, meaning employees who want to get tested must meet with a doctor before and after the tests. In theory, having a professional analyze and explain results can help people work to prevent potential diseases rather than fight them.

Pretty neat, right? Well, kind of.

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We’ve talked about some of the risks of genetic testing, like having your information sold to other companies, but there’s additional complications if you’re doing your testing through a company where you work.

For starters, you have no idea how Apple – or any other company offering this perk – will use or store that information. Although it is illegal to discriminate based on genetics, if your information slid from the medical side of the operation to the business side it could complicate things. I mean, do you really want a corporation where you are employed to have access to your genetic information?

Not to mention, even if Apple stays above board with their genetics testing, there’s no guarantee that will happen if this practice extends to other, smaller companies.

Look, there can be advantages to having genetic testing done. Understanding what sort of diseases you’re at risk of developing can help you plan for the future. That said, there are real risks to this process in general, with potentially even more dangers if you’re doing it through the company where you work.

Free perks might sound cool, but it’s worth figuring out what they might eventually cost you in the long run.

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Brittany is a Staff Writer for The American Genius with a Master's in Media Studies under her belt. When she's not writing or analyzing the educational potential of video games, she's probably baking.

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  1. Pingback: Apple hopes to be less dependent on China, is moving factories to India

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