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At AGS, we take your privacy very seriously.

AGS adheres to strict confidentiality and privacy laws that ensure that genetic information is kept private or only shared with your physician. Unlike several other genetic companies, AGS does not sell or transfer any personal data to any third parties.

 

Privacy & Protection

Confidentiality is a respected part of the AGS code of ethics. Your privacy is our number one priority. We pledge to uphold the highest standards of bioethics and maintain rigorous policies and procedures to keep your data safe and secure. We won’t even share your DNA data with your physician without your permission and
we won't ever sell your data. That is our strict policy. We guarantee it.

 

Digital Information Policy and GDPR Compliance

AGS endeavors to be transparent in how we collect and use the information about you from this website. Your privacy is important to us.

The AGS Privacy Statement ("Privacy Statement”) explains how AGS uses the personal information that all users who visit the site, download or purchase a service, or test kit or in other ways interact on the site www.ags-health.com. By visiting this site, you are accepting the practices and terms as described in this Privacy Statement.

If you do not AGREE to these terms, please DO NOT visit the site, download or purchase a service, or test kit or in other ways interact on this website.

Comments or questions about AGS’ Privacy Statement can be made with this link, or by post to Advance Genomic Solutions, 6900 E Camelback Road, Suite 860, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251.

To read more about digital privacy and your choices, click below.

 

[fa icon="plus-square"] AGS’ Privacy Statement is organized as follows:
  1. Personal Information AGS gathers about you
  2. How AGS collects your Personal Information (PI)
  3. How AGS uses your PI
  4. When and why AGS discloses PI
  5. Tracking Technologies AGS uses
  6. Choice and controls you have about your PI
  7. Security of your PI
  8. Privacy Practices of Third Parties
  9. Changes to AGS’ Privacy Statement
  10. GDPR and information for residents of countries outside the United States of America.
  11. Changes to the AGS Privacy Statement

 

1) Personal Information (PI) AGS gathers about you when you use www.ags-health.com:

Personal Information: Or PI, is any information that can be used to identify, locate, or contact you or an individual. AGS collects the following types of Personal Information:

Contact Information: Your Contact Information allows AGS to directly communicate with you. Examples of Contact Information include, but are not limited to, your name, accurate postal addresses, your email address, phone number, or other addresses at which you receive communications, test kits or test results sent from AGS.
Transactional Information: AGS automatically receives and records some information from your browser when you visit the site, fill out a form, or download content from the website, such as your IP address, cookies, and data about which pages you visit on the site, some of this is through the use of log files provided by our third-party tracking-utility partners. These types of information help us analyze and understand how the site works for users, and to provide a better user experience, as well as keep visitors who want to stay in contact and up to date on news of what AGS is doing in health and wellness, and genetic testing.

2) How AGS Collects Your Personal Information:

AGS provides forms which you may choose to provide PI when you use the website, download content, request a consultation, purchase a service, kit, desire us to contact you, or in other ways interact with us.

AGS collects this "Transactional Information" when you use the website. For example, AGS may track the pages you view, the methods of communication (computer, tablet or mobile device) through the use of cookies and related technologies to collect information about your computer, IP address and your interaction with the site and our shopping cart.

AGS also collects Transactional Information if and when you contact us via telephone, email, or other methods of communication.

3) How AGS uses your Personal Information (PI):

We may use your PI to enhance your user experience, to help us better understand you, provide educational materials, to help us customize relevant offers such as blog topics or posts that might be of interest to you, and to help us otherwise enhance your experience while on the website.

AGS also uses Personal Information to:

  • Identify and authenticate our users
  • Facilitate transactions, sales, and consultations
  • Operate and improve the functionality of the website
  • Connect with you through your social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and such
  • Contact you by phone or email
  • Personalize and continually improve all AGS website users’ experience
  • Send you technical updates, kits, reports, support, and messages or other marketing
  • Track transactions, sales, and other analytics
  • Manage AGS’ everyday business needs such, but not limited to website administration, communication management, analytics, fraud prevention, enforcement of our corporate reporting obligations, AGS’ Terms of Use or to comply with the law

4) When and Why AGS Could Discloses Personal Information:

AGS will never disclose, share or sell your PI to any third parties without your explicit consent, except as specified in this Privacy Statement. AGS will disclose your Personal Information when:

  • Working with companies and service providers (i.e. HubSpot, Shopify, Hubshop.ly, PayPal or other companies that process sales, billing, website hosting, or analytics performance in furtherance of the purposes described in Section 3 (“How AGS Uses Personal Information”) above.
  • Sharing of test results with your health provider when your explicit permission has been granted. We keep this document on file.
  • AGS employs other companies to perform tasks on AGS’ behalf and therefore AGS must share your PI with these companies to provide services to you. Examples include but are not limited to processing sales, analyzing data, providing marketing assistance and providing customer service and any Apps (Applications) that both work with AGS and that you allow use of your data.
  • AGS may partner with third-party services for fraud prevention and/or identity verification.
  • Enforcing AGS’ rights or protecting AGS’ property and intellectual property.
  • Protecting the rights, property or safety of others, investigate fraud, respond to a government request
  • AGS believes in good faith and transparency, and that it must disclose such information to prevent imminent physical harm or financial loss.
  • AGS believes in good faith that it must disclose such information to commence an investigation or take action regarding illegal activities or suspected fraud.
  • AGS believes in good faith that it must disclose such information per auditing, compliance, and corporate governance functions.
  • AGS believes in good faith that it must disclose such information to defend AGS in litigation or a regulatory action.
  • AGS believes in good faith that it must disclose such information or advised to do so by law, such as in response to a subpoena, or similar legal process, including to law enforcement agencies, regulators, and courts in the United States and other countries where we operate.

AGS will never share or sell your Personal Information to third parties unless AGS is in the process of entering into a merger with another business, acquisition of another business or the sale of all or a portion of AGS’s assets and the information is needed to support the sale or transfer of business assets. If AGS is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, you will be notified via email and/or prominent notice on our website of any change in ownership or uses of your PI, as well as any choices you may have regarding your PI before it becomes subject to a new privacy statement.

This Privacy Statement only governs when and why AGS discloses Personal Information. This Privacy statement does not apply to the practices of third parties that AGS does not own or control, nor individuals that AGS does not employ or manage. The use of your PI by third parties that you access through this website is governed by the privacy policies of such parties and is not subject to AGS’ control. As such, AGS is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of other websites on the Internet, even those linked to or from the AGS website. We encourage you to ask questions before you disclose your personal information to others.

AGS may disclose information about you that is not personally identifiable. For example, AGS may provide our partners, (such as HubSpot which hosts AGS’ website) or other third parties with reports that contain aggregated and statistical data about AGS’ users.

5) Tracking Technologies utilized on www.ags-health.com:

AGS implements and uses cookies to store user information and track user activities. A user’s web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information. Cookies enable AGS to monitor your activity across sessions of interaction between your device and the website. Please see Section #6 about your choices and controls, and for information on how to refuse these cookies.

6) Your Choices and Controls:

While AGS does need to collect certain information to make your website viewing experience personalized and to conduct transactions for you, AGs wants to give you the ability to control how your information is provided and shared.

  • Email Preferences: For various reasons, AGS may contact you about our services, marketing, updates or your activity. If you no longer wish to receive emails from AGS you may opt out of the email as indicated on each and every email correspondence by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link, where you may do so.
  • Cookies and Tracking Devices: On your computer or device, you manage how your browser handles cookies and other tracking devices by adjusting the preferences, privacy and security settings within that browser. If accessing AGS by a mobile device, you may manage the information your mobile device shares, such as cookies, tracking technologies, and location information, by adjusting your mobile device’s privacy and security settings.

7) Security of Personal Information (PI):

While AGS works hard to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure and therefore AGS cannot guarantee the absolute security of your personal information. Yet AGS still strives to maintain a system that reasonably safeguards your PI.

8) Privacy Practices of Third Parties:

This Privacy Statement describes the collection, use, and disclosure of information by AGS through this website. AGS utilizes third parties to provide services to users and also provides links from this website to other websites. These third parties may have their own privacy policies and may collect, use, and distribute information differently than AGS does, and we encourage all users to read the privacy policies of all third parties.

9) Changes to this Privacy Statement:

AGS reserves the right, from time to time to update this Privacy Statement to clarify our practices or to reflect new or different privacy practices. We encourage all users to periodically review this Privacy Statement. 

10) For users outside of the United States:

Beginning May 25th, 2018 users will have the personal rights and controls over their personal data based upon the GDPR agreement as set forth by the European Union. The seven points below highlight these attributes. Click here to read about GDPR.

a) The transparency that AGS collects personal data during visits to the website.

b) That AGS only collects data that is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary for the intended purpose of collection. 

c) That AGS is not allowed to use your data in any way that would be incompatible with the intended purpose for which it was collected, nor sell it or share it without your written consent.

d) That AGS is using appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect personal data against unauthorized processing and accidental loss, disclosure, access, destruction, or alteration.

e) That people have the right to ask AGS at any time to correct or update data if the information is no longer accurate.

f) Retention of data: AGS may only hold on to personal data for as long as is necessary to fulfill the intended purpose of collection. If the relationship is terminated for any reason, AGS has a data retention policy in place which outlines how long they will retain that individual’s data for and the business justification for holding on to the data for that specified period.

g) Deletion of data: If a person requests at any time that their data should be deleted, AGS has to comply with that request and confirm the deletion.

11) Contact AGS:  If you have questions or suggestions, you may click here to contact AGS, or by sending an email to infous@ags-health.com                                                                                                        

Genetic Information you share with others could be used against your interests.

Genetic nondiscrimination laws and why it should matter to you:

First, consider the true definition of Privacy: (noun) the state of being free from public attention. Next, consider the definition of Information Privacy: the right to have some control over how your personal information is collected and used. Now, consider Genetic Information Privacy: there is no such definition.

Some laws limit how the information can be used, but none truly protects privacy. And that may not even be possible, because genetic information is unique to every individual. It cannot be de-identified; even if separated from obvious identifiers like name and Social Security number, it is still forever linked to only one person in the world.

There are two federal laws that deal with genetic information; GINA (the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). GINA is essentially an anti-discrimination law that has nothing to do with privacy. It prevents group health and Medicare supplemental plans from using genetic information to discriminate against you when it comes to insurance. However, this law does not prevent genetic information to be considered when applying for life, disability, or long-term care plans. GINA also does not apply unless the employer has more than 15 employees.

 

 

HIPAA National Standards

HIPAA established national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. In 2013, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule amended HIPAA regulations to include genetic information in the definition of Protected Health Information (PHI). It also prevents use of the data in underwriting for all other types of health insurance plans, but still not for life, disability, or long-term care insurance. Excluding long-term care insurance guarantees that anyone with a tested genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s, for example, will be uninsurable. According to the definition, genetic information includes your genetic tests and a family member’s, your or a family member’s fetus or embryo, and evidence of a disease in a family member.

One major problem is that GINA only prohibits discrimination based on genetic information about someone who has not yet been diagnosed with a disease; that is, the disease is not yet "manifest." Today there are many tests for genetic markers that may—or may not—be precursors of a disease and also may mean that you could benefit from preventive treatment. If the presence of genetic markers is considered a “manifestation” of a disease, then neither GINA nor HIPAA applies to the information.

Note: At this time, other genetic testing companies/businesses are only self-regulated and can sell their genetic database at will. This allows them to market and sell genetic testing kit for a small cost because they make much more money selling your genetic data in large chunks.

 

Life Insurance Eligibilty

Because genetic testing is the future of personalized medicine, health insurers are banned from denying coverage based on results. The same does not apply for life insurance. Since 2008, with the passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the federal government has barred health insurance companies from denying coverage to those with a gene mutation. But the law does not apply to life insurance companies, long-term care, or disability insurance. These companies can ask about health, family history of disease, or genetic information, and reject those that are deemed too risky.

With the widespread use of EHRs (Electronic Health Records) that allows for a lifetime of personal health/medical data to be just a click away, this technology creates a significant privacy risks for all health information and can be very useful, but can also be dangerous in the wrong hands.

 

Employment Discrimination

A recurring issue in medical privacy is lawful uses of information based on overly broad compelled authorizations, such as in states where individuals must sign a release for substantially all of their health records as a condition of employment.

Recent advances in genetic research hold much promise for improving health. However, genetic information can also be used unfairly to discriminate against or stigmatize individuals on the job. For example, people may be denied jobs or benefits because they possess particular genetic traits--even if that trait has no bearing on their ability to do the job. In addition, since some genetic traits are found more frequently in specific racial or ethnic groups, such discrimination could disproportionately affect these groups.

 

Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is another problem that arises with EHRs (Electronic Health Records)—and genetic data. Tests done at birth vary from state to state, but all states must screen for at least 21 disorders by law, and some states test for 30 or more. Currently, tests are limited to conditions for which childhood medical intervention is possible and may be beneficial.

What if that practice changes to include—or mandate—tests for adult-onset disorders that cannot be treated in childhood—or for which there is no known treatment, such as ALS, Huntington’s disease, or Alzheimer’s? The privacy implications of starting a lifetime EHR that includes information about genetic diseases are enormous, and become even greater if the record comes to include evidence of a genetic propensity toward future, as yet incurable, diseases (not to mention the emotional impact on those designated at birth to succumb to a tragic and incurable disease). A great deal of thoughtful analysis and decision-making is required to protect this data—and the individuals connected to it—from exposure, while at the same time not excluding this data from important research.

 

Familial DNA

Finally, there is a complex ethical issue around the consent for disclosure of genetic information for research purposes. We’re used to thinking of consent as individual, which makes sense when the health information is mainly about that person. Genetic information is different: analysis of an individual’s DNA is highly informative about his or her offspring, siblings, and parents. Genetic information also bears on demographic categorization, as many genetic predispositions toward specific diseases or conditions are strongly associated with specific ethnic or racial groups. It seems odd that obtaining an individual consent is all that is required yet the results reveal significant information about many other people who may or may not be willing to consent. 

 

 

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