Saturday, 2 February 2019

FTDNA Terms of use changes

I feel obliged to bring this Terms of use change at FTDNA to your attention as, disappointingly, it happened without any notification to customers.

There will be a lot of reactions, informed and un-informed, on the various boards.
Read and weigh in with your comments there.

All DNA testing exposes us to matches to "cousins" who have submitted their DNA.
"Cousins" come in many flavours: genealogists looking for validations of their family tree, people looking for their birth parents/medical history, and more recently we've begun reading about cold case Joe and Jane DOEs.

Those on our match lists have to have come from a submitted DNA Sample.
You see what they see.

I will add that none of this is easy.
It takes a lot of work to get from a match to a defined place in a previously unknown family.
We all may learn things we did not expect.

If I manage a kit for you and you have concerns, do contact me to discuss.

The actual  FTDNA Press release


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for this. I happened to read an article this morning stating that it is now possible to remove your information from the site you've worked with.
    I understand companies have provided valuable help in some cases of law enforcement. Today's article dealt more with information being bundled and sold for marketing buyers. (imagine how profitable a drug maker could be if they knew exactly who to contact, for example. Potential client lists, sorted and filtered in every conceivable way have always been sought by marketers. Medical records in the US are high-value to manufacturers of various proposed remedies. There is a perfectly legal and highly profitable market for these lists, sometimes commanding well over $100 per name) I have a feeling that losing our protection of privacy is driven by commercial interests, particularly in the US at this time of aggressive deregulation.

  2. Also read the other subsequent posts by Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, which includes a link to the letter Bennett Greenspan sent to all customers.
    FTDNA continue to stress that they do NOT sell your DNA to 3rd parties.
    Yes some other companies do provide anonymised data from your data but you can generally opt out of being included in that.

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