Oct 162015
 
 October 16, 2015  Business, Featured News, Surveillance

Joe Cadillic writes:

According to the Verge, Ancestry.com, is seeking permission from the FDA to create a national DNA database. Ancestry.com claims they’ll use your DNA to assess your families disease risk.

Would it shock you to know that Google, the NSA and DHS are using “front companies” to create a GLOBAL DNA database?

“On the heels of our AncestryHealth launch and our one million genotyped customers milestone for AncestryDNA, we’re excited to announce this collaboration with Calico to research and develop life changing solutions,” said Ken Chahine, Executive Vice President and Head of DNA and Health. “We have laid the groundwork for this effort through the combination of an unmatched family history database, one of the fastest growing genetic databases…”

Joe points out why your DNA may not be safe with Ancestry.com:

Ancestry.com recently purchased the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The Sorenson’s Database had more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.”

In March of this year Ancestry.com let police search their DNA database without a warrant!

Without a warrant or court order, police investigators were able to run the crime scene DNA against Sorenson’s private genealogical DNA data. The search turned up 41 potential familial matches to Michael Usry. The cops then asked Ancestry.com, not only for the “protected” name associated with that profile, but also for all “all information including full names, date of births, date and other information pertaining to the original donor to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy project.”  FYI, Ancestry.com offered to disclose this information in response to a simple subpoena. 

Read more on MassPrivateI.

I’ve also had concerns about the potential for misuse of the AncestryDNA data. Indeed, after looking at their privacy policy, this site had the following exchange, beginning with this email to Ancestry DNA on July 29:

AncestryDNA’s informed consent for research at http://dna.ancestry.com/legal/consentAgreement states:

14. Do the researchers work for AncestryDNA or Ancestry.com?

The researchers involved in this study are employees of AncestryDNA or Ancestry.com. If you have concerns about this employment, ask for more information via the contact information listed below.

My question to you:

Why doesn’t the form disclose that data will be shared with Google’s Calico team?

Ancestry.com replied:

Thanks for your inquiry. For background on your question, I’ll point you to a few sections in our Informed Consent that makes clear our intention to collaborate with others, in particular: Section 1 (What is the research project?)<http://dna.ancestry.com/legal/consentAgreement> and in Section 3 (How will the Information be
used?). <http://dna.ancestry.com/legal/consentAgreement#3>

I hope this helps.

It didn’t, so I responded:

I understand that, but Section 14 of that document is misleading. The FTC might even say it’s “deceptive.” I would suggest AncestryDNA re-word/revise that part.

To which they responded:

Thanks for your comment; I passed along to our legal team.

That was in July. At last check, nothing has changed in their privacy policy. Their policy still claims that researchers are employees of Ancestry.com, when obviously they are not all employees of Ancestry.com

Maybe the FTC should look into this.

In any event, do read Joe’s post because there’s a lot of food for thought in there.

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