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Anticipating more federal scrutiny of genetic privacy policies, three leading consumer genetic companies have formed an advocacy group to defend their efforts to safeguard information about their customers’ DNA and separate themselves from perceived bad actors.

The Coalition for Genetic Data Protection — launched by Ancestry, 23andMe, and Helix — will provide the companies a “collective voice” in talking to lawmakers, said its executive director, Steve Haro, a principal at Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas. The group is advocating for a comprehensive genetic data privacy bill that aligns with the policies the companies follow and have espoused, he said.

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“As we talk about data privacy in the context of congressional action … we want to make sure that these companies have a seat at the table and are sharing their best practices, so that if legislation is going to happen on this, there’s a way to codify this,” Haro said.

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