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Privacy and Security Policy

Counsyl is a DNA testing and genetic counseling service. We're committed to helping you understand your DNA and how it can inform important health decisions. Whether it’s starting a family or evaluating risk for cancer, Counsyl's DNA tests provide you with early awareness about genetic conditions, so you can live informed and prepare for the future. There are three policies that govern the Counsyl website and products:

  • This Privacy and Security Policy describes our information handling practices when you access our website located at (the "Site"), and/or when you use any Counsyl products or services, (referred to collectively hereinafter as the "Service" or "Services");
  • Our Notice of Privacy Practices which describes our practices specifically regarding medical and payment information; and
  • Our Terms of Service which applies to use of the Site and our Services.

Please read this Privacy Policy and the other Policies carefully. By visiting this Site or using any of our Services, you are agreeing to them. If you cannot agree, please do not use the Services.

Why do we collect information?

We cannot perform our services without collecting information from you. For example, we receive information from you when we (1) accept your order for a screen, (2) contact your healthcare professional for authorization, (3) pre-verify your insurance coverage (if possible), (4) receive payment and (5) schedule appointments with medical profesisonals.

Some of this information is Personally Identifying Information ("PII"), which is information that can be used on its own or with other data to identify you personally. Examples of PII include: name, address, email address, phone number, social security number or credit card number. We also collect Protected Health Information ("PHI"), which is information that indicates the past, present or future health status of an individual. Examples of PHI can include your name associated with your family medical history or genetic screen results.

Whether the data is your PII or your PHI, we take its protection seriously. We employ rigorous technical and organizational safeguards against unauthorized disclosure or access to all information, consistent with the standards established in the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act of 1996 ("HIPAA").

What information does Counsyl collect and how is it used?

Counsyl only collects information that assists us to effectively provide you with the Services that you have requested of us.

  1. In order to permit you to access our website and services via the internet, we collect industry standard log data that includes the type of browser and operating system you are using, the address of the external or internal page that referred you, and your IP address. This information is collected from every visitor and is used to diagnose Site performance and usability.

  2. You will need a user account to request that we send your doctor information about authorizing our Service or to to access test results that were previously ordered by your physician. To create a user account you must provide us with your name, email address, phone number and password. We use this information to create your account, verify your identify, and to communicate with you. Our email communications with you are often transactional or relationship messages, such as communications about billing, genetic counseling appointments, screen results or other Service-related notifications. You may not be able to opt out of receiving certain Service-related messages. If you sign up to receive marketing or informational announcements from us, such emails will include capability to opt-out of receiving such e-mails in the future.

  3. If you are accessing screen results from a previous interaction with Counsyl, we will request your date of birth and the cell phone number listed when you initially requested the screen. We will send you a text message with a verification code. We use these two factors to verify your identity.

  4. When you order a test, you will need to provide us with either with credit card payment or health insurance information, a shipping address, the name and location of your physician and relevant personal and family medical history. We use this information to process payment by credit card or by insurance carrier; to send the test kit to you; to acquire authorization from your physician and to assist us in providing a comprehensive genetic report.

  5. If you contact us via a form on the Site, for example, to request an appointment with a genetic counselor or to request financial aid, we require those fields because they are relevant to providing you with the assistance that you are requesting. We will only use this information in relation to the purpose for which you are providing it.

How does Counsyl secure my information?

We understand how important your privacy is, which is why we take great care in safeguarding your personal information. Counsyl employs a range of physical, technical and administrative safeguards to secure the information you entrust to us and protect it from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction. Information you provide to Counsyl through our website is encrypted using industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, and your protected health information is processed and stored behind firewalls on controlled servers with restricted access. In addition, Counsyl limits our employees’ and contractors’ access to your protected health information. Only properly authorized employees and contractors with a valid purpose for accessing your information have such access. Counsyl information security governance is aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and also meets the requirements and guidelines of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and College of American Pathologists (CAP). Counsyl does not store any credit card information, and is compliant with PCI data security standards.

Please recognize that you play a vital role in protecting your own personal information. When registering on the Counsyl site, it is important to choose a password of sufficient length and complexity, to not reveal this password to any third parties, and to immediately notify us if you become aware of any unauthorized access to your account. Counsyl will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited call or an unsolicited email. We may ask you to confirm personal identifiers when registering an account or requesting support, which we use in conjunction with other security measures — such as email verification — to confirm your identity and safeguard your personal information.

Will you share any of my information?

We will keep your information private. We will never sell your information. We will only share your information if we receive your consent, or in the following circumstances:

  1. We contract with third-party vendors to provide services that are necessary to the Site. These vendors are required by contract and in some cases, state and/or federal law, to protect the information we share with them and may only use it for that purpose. Example: We partner with to process credit card payment information. Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor, and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available.

  2. We may disclose your PII or PHI if we believe, after due consideration, that doing so is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation, or valid legal process. If we are going to release your information, we will do our best to provide you with notice in advance, unless we are prohibited by court order from doing so.

  3. We may also disclose your PII to address fraud, security, or spam; to comply with a legal duty to inform others, such as if we believe it's necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily harm to a person or to protect our rights or property.

  4. Even if we are acquired by or merged with another company, this Privacy Policy would continue to apply to information collected while it was in place.

What are cookies and how does Counsyl use them?

Cookies are small files, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded onto your computer or mobile device when you visit certain websites. When you return to these websites — or visit other websites that use the same cookies — they recognize these cookies and therefore your browsing device.

The cookies on our website do lots of different jobs, including:

  • Making the website work properly for you and enabling you to make use of the secure online services that we provide.
  • Collecting data about your use of the website which is then anonymized and used to help us improve our online services.
  • Remembering your preferences and making the site easier for you to use.

In addition, our website includes cookies that are placed by third party services we make use of to enhance the information we present online. We have no control over these third party cookies.

You can learn about the cookies we use and how to manage them below.

What types of cookies does Counsyl use?

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are essential, as they enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas. Without these cookies, services you've asked for can't be provided. These cookies don’t gather information about you that is used for marketing or remembering where you've been on the internet.

As this category of cookie is essential for Counsyl to work it cannot be disabled.

Performance/Analytics Cookies

These cookies collect information about how you use a website, for example which pages you go to most often and if you get error messages from certain pages. These cookies don't gather information that identifies you. All information these cookies collect is anonymous and is only used to improve how a website works.

These cookies are not used to target you with online marketing. Without these cookies we can't learn how our website is performing and make relevant improvements that could better your browsing experience. Examples of third-party cookies: Optimizely, Google Analytics.

Functionality Cookies

These cookies allow us to remember choices you make and tailor this website to provide enhanced features and content to you. For example, these cookies can be used to remember your user name, language choice or country selection. Examples of third-party cookies: Live Agent.

Targeting/Advertising Cookies

These cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They remember that you have visited a website and this information may be shared with other organizations such as advertisers. This means after you have been to our website you may see some advertisements about our services elsewhere on the Internet. Examples of third-party cookies: Google Ads.

Third Party Cookies

These are cookies that fall into one of the above categories, but that another party places on your browsing device through our website. Third parties setting cookies through this website provide a service to us or functionality for the site but we do not control how third party cookies are used. You should check the third party’s website for more information on how they use cookies.

How to manage cookies from this website

Our Cookies (first party cookies)

You can use the browser that you are viewing this website with to enable, disable or delete cookies. To do this, follow the instructions provided by your browser (usually located within the “Help”, “Tools” or “Edit” settings). Please note that if you set your browser to disable cookies, you may not be able to access secure areas of the website and other parts of the website may also not work properly. You can find out more information about how to change your browser cookie settings at

Third Party Cookies

For more information about third party advertising networks and similar entities that use these technologies, see, and to opt-out of such ad networks’ and services’ advertising practices, go to Once you click the link, you may choose to opt-out of such advertising from all participating advertising companies or only advertising provided by specific advertising companies.

Do you honor the Do Not Track Signal?

The Site does not currently respond to a Do Not Track ("DNT") or similar signal as it awaits the results of efforts by the policy and legal community to determine the meaning of DNT and the proper way to respond.

How long do you keep all this information?

As a provider of health care services, we are subject to multiple laws on the retention of data. Accordingly, we retain any information collected about you for as long as we are required to maintain it for regulatory and compliance purposes or for a legal or business necessity.

Can children use the Site?

Children under the age of 13 may not use this Site. If you are aware of a child under the age of 13 accessing this Site, please contact us at so we can take action to prevent such access.

Links to Third Party Websites

Our Site has links to other websites that we do not own or control. We are not responsible for the content on those websites.

Notice to International Visitors

Data collected on this Site is processed in the United States according to United States law.

Counsyl complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss SafeHarbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. Counsyl has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view Counsyl’s certification, please visit

Will this policy ever change?

We may change our policies at any time and the changes will apply to any information we already hold, as well as new information after the change occurs. Before we make a significant change, we will post the new notice on our website at The new policy will be available upon request.

How can I contact you about this policy?

We invite you to contact us as follows:


Counsyl, Inc.
180 Kimball Way
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Phone: 1-888-COUNSYL (1-888-268-6795)

Fax: 608-541-2450

This notice is effective: February 5, 2015.

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