Helix Data Upload Consent
Last Modified: April 29, 2019
When you use Helix, you put your trust in us. Our goal is for you to always feel informed, empowered, and respected during your Helix experience.
We’ve written this Data Upload Consent to help you make sense of what using the Helix Platform means. It tells you the benefits, risks, and limitations for users who upload genetic data. Please take the time to read it with care.
If you have questions, we’re here to help! If you have any questions, you can contact us online or call 1-844-211-2070.
You must be 18 or older to use the Helix Platform. You must also live in the US. You can also find more details about Helix and the Helix Platform here:
DNA Products: Products and services that use portions of your DNA. They are featured on the Helix Platform.
Genetic Information: Your sequenced or uploaded DNA and any interpretation of the data. We store your Genetic Information for you to use with DNA Products.
Helix: Us! When you see the words “we,” “us,” or “our,” we’re talking about Helix.
Helix Insights: Insights about you provided by Helix based on Helix’s interpretations of your DNA. Helix Insights may be available to you through DNA Products offered by Helix.
Helix Platform: The Helix Store plus the process we use to upload, and store your Genetic Information.
Helix Store: Where we feature DNA Products.
Self-Reported Information: Other details about you that aren’t a part of your DNA. It may include details about your health, family tree, lifestyle, and behaviors.
Uploaded Data: The data in any genetic data file that you upload. When you upload data, you get access to a subset of DNA Products.
Purpose of the Helix Platform
Helix was founded to empower every person to improve their life through their DNA.
To that end, Helix provides the Helix Platform, which features a number of DNA Products offered by Helix or Partners that can give you insights about yourself. With Uploaded Data, you will have access to one or more of the Helix DNA Products. Before you access a product, you’ll be informed what you can expect to learn from it.
Using the Helix Platform
To use the Helix Platform, you must provide Helix your Genetic Information. You can do so in one of two ways.
The first way is to have Helix sequence your DNA. You can find more details in our Platform Consent. This will allow you to browse all DNA Products on the Helix Platform.
The second way is to provide Helix your Uploaded Data. We describe this process below. This will allow you to access the DNA Product(s) that support Uploaded Data.
– Providing your DNA
To use the Helix Platform, you may upload your genetic data. Helix only accepts Uploaded Data from specific services. Instructions for uploading your Uploaded Data can be found here.
We do not support downloading of Uploaded Data. We also do not match you with relatives.
Uploaded Data is used for two purposes. First, we use Uploaded Data to provide you Helix Insights through the Helix DNA Products you use. Second, we use Uploaded Data for research that you consent to. We describe more about this research below.
If you have both sequenced data and Uploaded Data, any Helix Insights you receive will be based on your sequenced data.
– Getting insights from DNA Products
After you upload your data, you will get access to a subset of Helix DNA Products. You choose the DNA Products you want to use through the Helix Store. When you use a DNA Product, you choose to learn about the portions of your Genetic Information that it uses.
Each Helix DNA Product you use will:
Use portions of your Genetic Information to offer you Helix Insights.
Tell you what you can expect to receive from the product.
Ask you to give your consent for that product to look at portions of your Genetic Information.
Ask you to share some basic details about you, like your age, sex, and email address.
– Giving other information about you
The Helix Platform may also ask for your Self-Reported Information. This information could improve your Helix Insights. It could also support other tools and services through the Helix Platform.
Whether you share Self-Reported Information with Helix is up to you. Some DNA Products need this information to function.
– Helping improve the Helix Platform
Helix may use your Genetic Information or Self-Reported Information as part of a pooled data set. We call these data sets “Aggregated Genetic Information.” This kind of data set combines de-identified data from many Helix Users. These data sets would not include any details that make it easy to identify you. Helix may use these data sets for business or promotional purposes. To use the Helix Platform, you must let Helix use your information as part of these data sets.
Helix strives to give you current, reliable, and high-quality experiences. As such, a key way that we will use Aggregated Genetic Information is to improve the Helix Platform. We may do so with our quality control methods. Some of these methods may focus on how we store your Genetic Information. Some of them may focus on how you use the Helix Platform. Such information will be used only for Helix’s quality, regulatory, and internal business purposes.
– Taking part in research
You can choose to take part in our research, the Helix DNA Discovery Project. This research does not include our work to improve the Helix Platform. If you choose to take part, your Genetic Information and Self-reported Information would be used for research. You can find more details about the project in our Research Consent.
Closing your Helix Account
We intend for you to benefit from the Helix Platform. You can do so by learning about yourself from your DNA. What you learn may be useful for you in a number of ways. You might assuage your curiosity or simply enjoy learning about your genetics. You may also be able to apply what you learn to your personal wellness.
How you benefit may change as your interests, needs, and motivations change through your life. How you benefit may also change as new DNA Products and Helix Insights are added to the Helix Platform. You may benefit in ways that we can’t predict today.
There are some risks that come with using the Helix Platform.
There is a chance you could learn something about yourself that you didn’t want to know. For instance, you could find out that you were adopted. You could also find out something that concerns you about your health. Since you share DNA with your blood relatives, what you learn could also affect them. You may want to discuss your options before or after you get your results. You can do so with your doctor, a mental health professional, or a genetic counselor.
Under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), if you work for a company of 15 or more people, your employer may not ask you about your Genetic Information. They are also barred from using any Genetic Information in hiring or other employment decisions. Your health insurer cannot use genetic testing information in decisions about coverage and health premiums.
This restriction only applies to employment and health insurance companies. For example, companies that offer life, long-term care, or disability insurance are not covered by GINA. Neither are the US Armed Forces. Some states have safeguards on top of the safeguards in GINA. You should be aware of the laws in your state and be careful with whom you choose to share your Genetic Information. Please see our FAQs for more details.
Lastly, each DNA Product has its own risks, benefits, and limitations. The Helix Platform will give you some details about each DNA Product. Each DNA Product will give more in-depth details about it through its Product Consent. You should take care to weigh the risks, benefits, and limitations of each product you choose to buy. You may want to talk with a genetic counselor for help weighing these factors.
The Helix Platform has some limitations. Some of these are unique to Helix. Some are related to genetics in general. Many of these are also discussed in our Terms of Service
Your Genetic Information cannot tell you everything about yourself. Your genes are only a part of who you are.
With Uploaded Data, you can only access certain Helix DNA Products. To access the full Helix Store, you must have your DNA sequenced.
Most traits that your DNA Products describe are not deterministic. In other words, your results will often describe your predisposition for a trait. In some cases, factors like where and how you live can affect this chance more than your DNA.
DNA Products are based on the current state of knowledge. Over time, more will be known about DNA and how it affects traits. As this knowledge improves, we may update your DNA Products.
Though not likely, your Genetic Information stored by Helix could have some errors. In some cases, errors can occur when we read the stored Genetic Information. Helix has many quality control steps in place to find errors when they occur.
It’s possible that some or all of your Uploaded Data will not meet our quality standards. In that case, some or all DNA Products won’t be able to use your Genetic Information. These DNA Products will not be available to you.
Questions about the Helix Platform
You may have questions about Helix, the Helix Platform, or your use of it. If you do, you can contact Helix’s Customer Care: