Posted by Eric Heath on May 21, 2017 in AncestryDNA

[UPDATE] A quick update to this post. As I mentioned, we were working to clarify our Terms and Conditions language around the data rights – or license – you grant us when you take an AncestryDNA test. I’m happy to say that we have just posted the updates.]

Ancestry has released updated Terms and Conditions. These changes apply to all AncestryDNA customers, past and future. The changes that are most relevant to the discussion below can primarily be found in Section 3 The AncestryDNA Service.  These changes provide additional clarity around the policies that we already follow in terms of data ownership and sharing. A few highlights of the specific changes are below, but I encourage you to take a look at the whole document yourself.

  • First, we very clearly state that AncestryDNA does not “claim ownership rights in the DNA that is submitted for testing.” You own your DNA; this sentence helps make it clear that nothing we do takes, or has ever taken, that ownership from you.
  • Second, we’re clear that because you are owner of your DNA, we need you to grant us a license to your data so that we can provide our products and services to you and our other users, as well as develop new products and services. You can revoke this right at any time by requesting we delete your data or your account.
  • Third, we explicitly state that we will not share your genetic data with employers, insurance providers or third party marketers without first getting your consent. We already follow this procedure, but this language makes our commitment to you explicit.

Like I said yesterday, there are a lot of questions to ask and discussions to be had about genetic testing. We hope these updates help address some of your most pressing concerns.

—–

For more than 20 years, Ancestry has been working every day to earn and keep our customers’ trust. We strongly value the role Ancestry plays in the personal discoveries you achieve through our services, and in the role we play in your efforts to document your family histories across generations. We also understand that when it comes to your DNA, the expectations you have of us to be careful and respectful stewards of your data are heightened. We try to be transparent about what happens with your data when you take an AncestryDNA test – in our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and our Support Center – and we’re always open to having a discussion if you have any questions.

We’ve recently received a number of questions that stem from an article describing what Ancestry can do with your genetic information that has significant inaccuracies and fundamental errors in it. When I read the article, it became immediately obvious why consumers would have concerns: The article is inflammatory and inaccurate, and contains wild scenarios of the “did you know [insert scary hypothetical]” variety. If you don’t read our terms, and don’t spend a lot of time with our products and services, you might find this article alarming. So, let me try set the record straight by sharing some of the basic principles that guide everything we do at Ancestry.

We believe your DNA data belongs to you and we strive to be true stewards of your data.

If you provide us a sample of your saliva, we’ll analyze it to tell you more about where you come from. The sample, and the resulting data, are yours. You have the ability to download it at any time. You can request that we delete your data and destroy your physical sample at any time and we will do so.

Because genetic information is potentially useful to help cure disease, extend life, and improve science, we ask if you want to take part in research that may be conducted by third parties. If you consent to this through our Informed Consent (approved by an Institutional Review Board), your data is cleansed of any personal identifiers before being aggregated with other’s data, and only then would it be made available to potential research partners. Our research partners are typically from academic settings, but they might include for-profit research companies that are doing things like trying to understand if there are genetic markers related to longevity. Again, if you don’t consent to participate, your genetic information is not included in the research.

We have not sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers, or third-party marketers. We protect our users within the law, and require valid legal process such as a warrant before providing any data to law enforcement.

We understand how sensitive your genetic information is, and we have committed to protecting your data, and that’s why we’ve never provided genetic data to insurers or employers. Additionally, with regard to requests from law enforcement, our policy has only been that we will only provide data if compelled to by a valid legal process. We also issue an annual transparency report detailing the volume of law enforcement requests we receive.

The article contains a claim suggesting that we’ve buried, deep in our “Terms of Service,” the ability to reveal highly sensitive health information about you or a relative, which could be used by insurance carriers, law enforcement, or employers. As noted above, this is completely false.

The language referred to is part of the Informed Consent to participate in third-party research and describes some of the unlikely risks of participating. Before you agree to participate, we believe it’s important that you are aware of even unlikely scenarios where aggregated, non-personalized data might somehow be re-identified, which is why we’ve tried to be transparent about such risks and our commitment to avoiding them. 

We take a license to your genetic information to allow us to provide you with our products and services, as well as to develop and improve them.

We require you to grant us a license to your data when you take our test. The reason for this is simple: We need that license in order to move your data through our systems, render it around the globe, and to provide you with the results of our analysis work. Personally, I don’t like the legal language on this issue because it can be confusing and seem overly broad, but it’s what’s necessary for us to do the work we do for you. That’s why we also have language throughout the process of activating a test that clarifies and limits what we can and can’t do with your data. We are, of course, actively looking to improve this language to enhance transparency and reduce confusion, and I hope to have some improvements to the transparency of the terms available online soon.

In conclusion

There are a lot of legitimate questions to be asked and discussions to be had about consumer genomics. It’s still a new industry after all. But wildly inaccurate articles don’t do you, the consumer, any favors. Their misleading and fear-inducing content confuses and confounds users, and generally does not help raise the level of dialog about consumer genetics privacy. I don’t expect that this one blog post will clear up every concern, and we’re happy to answer your questions, and hope that everything we have done over the last several decades has helped us earn your trust.

At Ancestry, we are all committed to continuing to earn that trust every single day.

Eric Heath

Chief Privacy Officer, Ancestry

88 Comments

  1. Carl Sorensen

    If Ancestry.com is sold again, can you somehow guarantee that your current DNA policy will not be adversely affected in the future? How?

  2. Ess

    This response makes it sound like we can totally opt out of our DNA being sold. Is that correct? Is there a box to tick or untick which means the data will never be sold to anyone anonymised or not?

  3. Debra

    Ancestry.com could never explain how a person could appear among my dna matches as a 3rd cousin only to disappear from the tree altogether. Customer service link above does not work. Tech support has a backlog. I just do not believe any new noise coming from them now.

  4. Ron Fedele

    After reading some of the questions or comments above and having extensive experience in the medical privacy field, I thought I would give some thoughts on them. If privacy policies are updated they should not affect older data that was given on the older contract. If you had concerns you could take your data back. You never lose ownership. There is a check box to opt out of participating in studies. The term render around the world refers to the process of matching throughout their worldwide servers. As to the disappearing cousin issue, they may have chosen to remove their data as stated above

  5. Jason Lee

    Let’s be clear. Ancestry has sold DNA data to third parties and intends to continue doing so. I’m not impressed with the way Ancestry has been coy about that issue.

  6. Erica

    Such a relief to see this! Seriously, people who believe things they read online without going to the actual source are dumb. Why would you believe Medium.com over the actualy head of security at Ancestry? There are so many laws protecting DNA testing. Believe this guy over some dumb artcle that has no idea what actually happens INSIDE the company. Ancestry actually has a transparency page for people who want to know all of the times that Ancestry has turned over DNA to the government if you are concerned.

  7. Jacquelyn F. Horton

    It is obvious some people like Barry do not understand the laws and do not know how to protect their DNA on Ancestry even though there are a lot of things you can do on Ancestry that does protect your DNA – it is a good service provided and I for one after 47 years of research for my maiden name have finally found it back to the 1600’s because of Ancestry DNA. Thank you Ancestry very much

  8. Jason

    The blog post states “We have not sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers, or third-party marketers” but does not give any guarantee that they won’t in the future. Would have like to have seen “…nor will we ever.”

    • Jessica Latinović

      Jason, We’ve never sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers or third-party marketers. When you activate a kit, you are given the option of participating in research that may be conducted by third-parties. If you tell us you don’t want to, we don’t share your data with third-party researchers. You can also download your data at any time.

      You can review and update your information on your DNA settings page. If you agreed to the Informed Consent to participate in research, and then withdraw consent, we will stop using information about you promptly for the Research Project and any future research. However, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results. If you have questions about how to review, update or delete information, you should look in the “Manage Your privacy” pages below, or contact our Member Services team.

      And, if you want to, you can ask us to delete your data and even destroy your saliva sample – and we’ll do so. At any time. There’s of course a lot more information available on our website in our privacy center (http://www.ancestry.com/cs/privacyphilosophy).

  9. Tim

    It says “We *have not* sold…” NOT “We *will not* sell…” or “We *can’t* sell…”. As far as I’m concerned, that entire section of this rebuttal is not as explicit as it should be. It just says “we have committed to protecting your data”, it does not address any of the concerns people have raised about whether this could change in the future.

    The claim “As noted above, this is completely false” is merely a statement, not a proof of fact. The “note” appears to reference the same statement that “we have committed to protecting your data”, when the issue at hand is whether Ancestry has “*the ability to reveal* highly sensitive health information about you or a relative”. A commitment today does not change whether the ability exists and says nothing about the future.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Tim,

      To be clear, we have never sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers or third-party marketers. When you activate a kit, you are given the option of participating in research that may be conducted by third-parties. If you tell us you don’t want to, we don’t share your data with third-party researchers. You can also download your data at any time.

      You can review and update your information on your DNA settings page. If you agreed to the Informed Consent to participate in research, and then withdraw consent, we will stop using information about you promptly for the Research Project and any future research. However, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results. If you have questions about how to review, update or delete information, you should look in the “Manage Your privacy” pages below, or contact our Member Services team.

      And, if you want to, you can ask us to delete your data and even destroy your saliva sample – and we’ll do so. At any time. There’s of course a lot more information available on our website in our privacy center (http://www.ancestry.com/cs/privacyphilosophy).

  10. Jason Lee

    “We have not sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers, or third-party MARKETERS.” (Emphasis added.)

    “Third party marketers” is a very specific category of third parties. This mysteriously leaves open a host of other possibilities. How about a complete list of all of the third parties to whom Ancestry has sold DNA data? That would help to “set the record straight” and “earn and keep your customers’ trust.”

  11. Cathy

    I thought it would be interesting to participate in the additional analysis that may be made available, and I answered the survey questions. However, I did read the terms of service and the privacy notice at the end of the survey, and it very much sounded like third parties could have access to your, and/or your relative’s, data and identity. That statement included health insurance companies and other third parties. For that reason, I chose not to agree to the study. If that is not what Ancestry intended, then perhaps they need to state their terms more clearly, because that is the way I read it.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Cathy, That language comes from our Informed Consent (https://www.ancestry.com/dna/en/legal/informedConsent/v2) and is our attempt to make sure you understand even incredibly remote, unforeseen scenarios that might happen. We want people to really think about whether or not they want to participate in third-party research, so we wanted to provide an extreme example of what could happen.

      We don’t ever expect a research partner to share data with someone else, but even though it’s unlikely, we wanted you to think about the possibility of it happening as an extreme example of a risk to think about. It’s a hypothetical.

  12. Sue Ames

    Personally I don’t see the all the hullabaloo but that is just me. I gave my consent willingly knowing that they may sell. I guess I am not all that concerned about Ancestry lying to me. A few months ago I gave my consent knowing full well all of the things that might go on in the future but then that is why I did the DNA in the first place. An no I do NOT have my head in the sand nor am I ignorant. Where would we be today without science?

  13. Jessie

    Meh. Nothing to hide in my corner of DNA land and to me the benefits out weigh the risks. I’m just waiting for a chromosome browser or a messaging icon for their app. Lol

  14. Bonnie Szydlowski

    I saw a video with all the claims they are refuting in this article. Seemed to me like someone was trying to bring down Ancestry because it is top of the heap for DNA testing with over 4 million DNA tests in its database. Competition in this new market is fierce with new DNA and family tree sites going up all the time. Also, Ancestry is expanding. If you can’t figure out what is propaganda and what is not, don’t take the DNA test. If it really bothers you and you already took the test, delete it. I am keeping my test results because they have helped me break down 7 brick walls. With so many records missing or not added to databases yet, DNA is a very good resource. Keep up the good work Ancestry.

  15. Sheila Cassidy

    I’ve been looking for my great grandparents ‘ names and location for thirty years. Thank you Ancestry, they’ve been found through aDNA cousin!

  16. Claire

    I’m so grateful to Ancestry for opening a whole new world to me when at 62 they told me I was 49% Jewish. I was 13 when visiting my Grandmother for the first time, and we had lunch with a sweet older gentlemen who she told me was my real father, and that he was Jewish. My mother denied it. I now have over 700 “cousins”. I could never thank Ancestry- it’s never too late To that this adventure!!!

  17. chekwriter

    On some of the above postings, yes, have lots of questions, can only ask them one at a time and pray for an answer. When someone is a match to us, and they are alerted to same. Later, come back and they are no longer on ou match list. Can be for several different reasons. The person has opted out of staying in the system. Opted out because they are NOT getting any NEW matches or they are NO LONGER interested. Can be many reasons of lost matches, to others may be that the limits/match levels are changed and they may be very low in numbers, of course will no longer be on our listings. Just depends on what levels are being used a the particular time frame when you checked your matches. FTDNA sets at max to lowest level presently of 19.xx Cm’s for a match, before it was 20.xx Cm’s.

    • Nancy Lynn

      I chose My Heritage mainly because it appeared it had a larger database than Ancestry. I had a bit of problem because 2.4% was left out, but areas of central Africa and central Eastern Europe were colored on the globe.I got an immediate response when I questioned it, but the response didn’t make sense. So, I questioned again. They answered specifically about the 2 parts of that missing data, and things all fell into place.
      Questions:,who has the largest data base? 23&Me offers to let us know what genetic conditions we’re predisposed to. Does Ancestry offer that service?

  18. Lisa

    So does this mean that Ancestry will not sell my DNA to a third party that might clone me?? Dang it! I always wanted a twin!!

  19. Claire

    Sorry my end got dropped! -anyone who could Answer my thousands of questions when I found out I was Jewish (very excited too) were long gone by now, and that’s when “Ancestry” easily come in. They took me on this wonderful adventure. It made all my past history’s & the people in it come alive again! . While I was searching out my ancestors it felt like I was almost re-living their lives and some of the paths they took . “Ancestry” is my new family and what an adventure! . Thank you for making it exciting at the same time- yeah there is a lot I don’t understand, but I don’t care, there is so much more to see and do! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you that did your DND, and opened this whole new world for me!

  20. HabboHotell

    Been trying for ages to enter their site. They just automatically transfer me to “Ancestry.se” – I am not in Sweden, nor do I understand Swedish. I have been trying all different kind of things to avoid getting transferred to their Swedish site, but its not possible.

    I dont get it. Even if I was in Sweden perhaps I wanted to use their English site? (But again; no connection to Sweden whatsoever). Its annoying.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Typically, you’re directed to the country site based on your IP address. Is it possible your internet service provider is located in Sweden?

  21. Joshua Desjardin

    When I was a child my grandmother told me that we we’re royalty, now I don’t know any other Desjardins so when I see one on Facebook I friend them, so I was just chatting with one of them who lives in Michigan but his father lives in Montreal and he said our name goes back to Queen Elizabeth. My question is can a DNA tell me anything about this?

    • Jessica Latinović

      Joshua, Sounds like you’ve got a fun research journey ahead! Before you go climbing the wrong family tree, here’s a helpful video on getting started using Ancestry: https://youtu.be/pUEtr_b63CA Good luck in your search and keep us posted on whether you’re able to prove ancestry to Queen Elizabeth!

  22. Janice

    I think Ancestry’s post should allay any concerns. I – for one – am very pleased with the service provided and believe Ancestry is acting appropriately with regard to DNA tests. I’ve discovered so much and am very thankful.

  23. Mrs. Davies

    Please don’t read what others “opinions and comments” are (well read but don’t share and believe) because like these false statements they do damage Ancestry’s reputation. I’ve been an Ancestry user for so long I can’t even recall the first time. I manage 3 accounts and I have to say even I got nervous reading this nonsense that keeps going around – BUT THEN I GO TO MY PAGE and re-read the ACTUAL terms and conditions of Ancestry DNA’s page. Always go to the “horses mouth” – the rear end doesn’t speak well 😉 Thank you Ancestry and keep up the great work. I did go in an opt out of the Ancestry Human Diversity Project so there are options. READ. Be informed.

  24. Sarah

    Do I get a cut of whatever profits anyone gets from using my results with or without my consent? Why would something I PAID WITH MY OWN MONEY to have done be used to then further benefit anyone else (insurance companies, the law, third parties, etc.)? Like I just want to do the test and get all my answers. Can I upon receiving my results download it all for permanent personal possession and then have all traces of results removed from ancestry afterwards? Who do these people think they are to try and gather my information I paid to get to then monetize for their own gain without compensating me!!? Seriously I really want to do this when I can afford to and this just pisses me off.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Sarah,

      To be clear, we’ve never sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers or third-party marketers. When you activate a kit, you are given the option of participating in research that may be conducted by third-parties. If you tell us you don’t want to, we don’t share your data with third-party researchers. Should you wish to review and update your AncestryDNA settings, you can review and update your information on your DNA settings page. If you agreed to the Informed Consent to participate in research, and then withdraw consent, we will stop using information about you promptly for the Research Project and any future research. However, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results.

      If you have questions about how to review, update or delete information, you should look in the “Manage Your privacy” pages below, or you can contact our Member Services team.

  25. Barbara Ann Chase-McKay

    Please help!
    I used my name but I am looking for my biological mothers family to start. I was adopted. How do I fix this?

  26. Ed Poor

    DNA hasn’t gotten me past the paper work where the lack ofNew York records has (genealogies, vital records) formed a brickwall. Seeing that all found grandfathers from great grandfather down had only one son to carry on the Poor line. I am hopeing DNA can connect me to one of the B-Wall’s brothers, but the last one of their lines probably died about 10 years ago.The Wall is in Madrid St Lawrence Co NY Enoch Poore died 1850 As for selling our DNA without compensation. Do we get compensation for entering our trees on any site. In thirty years no site has paid me anything.

    • Jessica Latinović

      Ed, Should you wish to review and update your AncestryDNA settings, you can review and update your information on your DNA settings page. If you agreed to the Informed Consent to participate in research, and then withdraw consent, we will stop using information about you promptly for the Research Project and any future research. However, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results.
      If you have questions about how to review, update or delete information, you should look in the “Manage Your privacy” pages below, or you’re welcome to contact our Member Services team.

  27. Paige

    I have always been a big fan of Ancestry, having used their website since its online inauguration. Recently I took the DNA test. My ancestry goes way back and I have it documented on my research website at home. Some of the DNA findings were a little questionable, but I told myself, “Hey, maybe you inherited a flukey gene.” Then I received my DNA matches. The strongest connection said 1st cousin or closer. I emailed the individual. Turns out it was my Brother-in-law!!! We both have the same last name BUT Ancestry didn’t know he was adopted at the age of two and knows his REAL last name. Terribly disappointed with Ancestry.

  28. Stacie

    Even with this ‘new’ privacy policy there is nothing that states that Ancestry will not sell my DNA for it’s own profit. In fact it is very clear that they can and will do that very thing [big pharma maybe?]. I like Ancestry in general [despite all the mistakes in trees, their unwillingness to block certain users with no relation to me from taking my photos and stories and representing then as their own], and have made some good matches. HOWEVER, for a company who is already making a ton of money already to then turn around and sell my information for more profit is not what I signed up for.

    “3. The AncestryDNA Service
    AncestryDNA will analyze Users’ genetic, genealogical, and health information, to provide results, including an ethnicity estimate, to each User (the “Results”) and will use aggregated Users’ Results to make discoveries in the study of genealogy, anthropology, genetics, evolution, languages, cultures, medicine, and other topics.
    In addition, you understand that by providing any DNA to us, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA using your Genetic Information.”

    • Jessica Latinović

      Stacie, Everything we do is based on the fundamental belief that your DNA data belongs to you and we strive to be good stewards of your data.

      We’ve never sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers or third-party marketers. When you activate a kit, you are given the option of participating in research that may be conducted by third-parties. If you tell us you don’t want to, we don’t share your data with third-party researchers. You can also download your data at any time.

      And, if you want to, you can ask us to delete your data and even destroy your saliva sample – and we’ll do so. At any time. There’s of course a lot more information available on our website in our privacy center here: http://www.ancestry.com/cs/privacyphilosophy.

  29. Zach

    You did all the right things, and then you undermined yourself with the “In Conclusion” paragraph. Before I read this I was convinced it was going to be another typical corporate response. By the end I was impressed at how humble you seemed to be about clarifying your previously unclear ToS. You addressed all the right points without being defensive.

    And you squandered it all by getting defensive about the original article. Don’t do that! Be gracious and thank them for giving you the opportunity to improve.

  30. Judy S Broughton

    I had my DNA TEST! THEY ARE SO OFF BASE THAT I CAN PROVE I HAVE NATIVE AMERICAN N TWICE ON BOTH SIDES OF MY FAMILY! MY GREAT GRANDMOTHERS WERE BOTH CHEROKEE AND I HAVE THEIR REGISTER NUMBERS! AND BACK 7 GENERATION I HAD BLACK AND THAT SHOWED UP! I ALSO TALK TO OKLAHOMA RESERVATION TO PROVE ALL OF THIS! I WILL GET REGISTRY WITHOUT THESE MISTAKES ANCESTRY HAS DONE TO MY FAMILY! I ALSO SAW MY FRIEND, I GREW UP WITH WHICH WE FIGURED OUT WE ARE COUSIN NO THANKS TO ANCESTRY ! HER FAMILY ALSO CHEROKEE! SHE ALSO HAD DOCUMENTS TO PROVE IT! I EVEN CALLED WITH NO SATISFACTION! THEY HAD BETTER NOT SELL WHAT I PAID 100.00 FOR, IT TO BE ALL WRONG!

  31. louisa

    I image there could be some grey areas with finding out about genetic relative. What if someone found out that their parent/child wasn’t a genetic match? Do you make sure the person sending the sample is the person the sample is of. Otherwise what stops someone from getting a sample of someone else (then downloading the DNA and doing what they like with it)? What’s your policy on say if someone use AncestryDNA for Paternity Testing?

  32. Liz J

    And what’s to stop you from changing your Terms of Service again?? You say it yourself in the first paragraph: “These changes apply to all AncestryDNA customers, past and future.”
    So let me get this straight: anyone who signed up in the past under a different set of rules is now bound by these new rules, even if they didn’t consent? This is precisely why this blog post means absolutely nothing.

  33. Robin

    I have two questions about this:
    You say you have never provided information insurers, employers or third-party marketers. Is that right?
    Also, what about the government? Have you every been asked to provide DNA information to any government agency? Have you done so? Have you refused? If you have not been asked, do you have a policy in place for the future?

  34. David

    From the reports and blog it would appear that they only updated their ToS _after_ being called on it. This suggests either very sloppy legal advice on the original ToS or their clear intention to do exactly what the original ToS said but now are too embarrassed to do so. Either way Not Good. Why should we trust them now when in the past they were clearly either incompetent or untrustworthy? And especially as they appear willing to retroactively change their ToS when it suits their purposes?

  35. Patrick

    In the AncestryDNA Service section of your terms of service, you have the standard clause granting the company a worldwide, royalty-free, etc. etc. etc. license to process submitted data. I undestand that that’s fairly typical, as it’s the language often needed simply to stick things on a web page or run them through processing software to begin with.

    My concern is the words “sublicensable” and “transferrable” in that clause, which suggests the possibility or even likelihood of information being passed from Ancestry, which may profess to respect privacy rights on that information, to a third party which couldn’t care less about it.

    I’m taking it as a given that the company *will* license that data to third parties in the future, not least because of how often “we haven’t yet” has come up in the whole discussion. When that happens, what guarantees are there that those third parties will neither abuse that information nor pass it along to other parties?

  36. Monika

    Re: Health Information and DNA testing. As I look at the data that I have collected about my ancestors, it has puzzled me for a long time why so many of them have died of “emaciation” at a relatively young age. Particularly that the records I found about them showed that they had legitimate professions (e.g, carpenter, taylor, etc.) So, it was not like they were “day laborers” or otherwise struggling to survive. The thought crossed my mind that a hundred or two hundred years ago people did not know what “cancer” was and whether that possibly was what brought the emaciation about. I may sound stupid, but is that something that DNA testing could explain?

  37. Grahame

    “AncestryDNA will internally analyze Users’ results to make discoveries in the study of genealogy, anthropology, evolution, languages, cultures, medicine, and other topics.”

    This is incredibly vague and basically says you will use my DNA for whatever research you feel like doing with it.

    ” Examples of the limited scenarios where AncestryDNA may disclose personal information to third parties are: […] (g) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.”

    Cool! If you get in legal trouble you can give my DNA to whoever might help you save your company.

    “Additionally, as our business continues to grow and change, we might restructure, buy, or sell subsidiaries or business units. In these transactions, customer information is often one of the transferred assets, remaining subject to promises made in then prevailing privacy statements. Also, in the event that AncestryDNA, or substantially all of its assets or stock are acquired, transferred, disposed of (in whole or part and including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings), personal information will as a matter of course be one of the transferred assets.”

    You can sell AncestryDNA to Joe McNotCarenstien and he can then do whatever he wants with my DNA, subject to the promises made in this Privacy Statement, which from what I can tell is a circular promise to give Joe my DNA.

    “… distribute, and communicate your Genetic Information for the purposes of providing you products and services, conducting Ancestry’s research and product development, enhancing Ancestry’s user experience, and making and offering personalized products and services. ”

    Given that you can use my DNA to do whatever research you want with it (as per your Privacy Statment I quoted above) and you can then use the results of that research to push personalized products on me. Say you “discover” that people with similar genetic markers to mine are born with 7 eyeballs. Guess what I am going to see? Ads for 7-eyeball sunglasses!

  38. Victoria Leatrice Parp

    I’m trying to search for my mother and dads extended ancestors and up to date generational relatives. To update our family tree abroad. Thank you!

  39. Sarah B

    I’d just like to make a suggestion regarding website functionality for DNA matches. It would be extremely useful if you could tag different matches with either a surname or color so that you could easily see which matches are related to you through each part of your family tree. For example, I might tag all matches related through my Mom’s Grandmother’s side with Von Berg or with Blue. This way I could easily see how each was related and would help me narrow down which matches to focus on when working on a specific section of my family tree.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Sarah: That is an excellent suggestion and we really appreciate you taking the time to give us this specific feedback. We understand how that would be helpful to yourself and our other members and we have passed this along to our developers for future consideration. Thanks for sharing this idea with us!

  40. Jolene Hyde

    I am having problems with the DNA page. Every time I consent to the legal stuff it says oops there is a problem. I have not been able to review my matches ever since you put the legal stuff on the page.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Jolene: We’re sorry to hear that you’re having issues with this. Can you please advise if this is happening from all web browsers and can you please follow these steps to see if it helps? http://ancstry.me/2959brr.

  41. Scott

    @Debra Maybe your third cousin simply deleted their DNA profile? Like he’s explaining here… Would make sense.

  42. Tanya

    I would like to start off by saying that our family has worked with this website since the beginning and we have watched it grow into a website that can be multi functional. Without having to go into much detail, We are all aware of the cliches that come with the world wide web. I to am not overlooking any of the risk factors we all take when you submit any information on the internet and both my daughters are skilled computer techs that I work closely with on a daily basis. That being said, I a few things I feel needs attention with regard to all the DNA Ancestry Membership holders. My cousin and I submitted her DNA over six months ago and I have been working with mine through two universities and various DNA data services. I have many family members from several branches and degrees in our age who have also been tested ans I have had only a couple of questionable issues I would love taken care of. First, my cousin has never had a single discovery since she submitted her DNA 8 months ago. Second, as of yesterday my cousin is no longer a DNA match to either of her parents and many matches she just had are gone as well.I will add that she does match to her grandparents as far back as 5 generations. Finally, as to insure complete unanimity, I would recommend revoking the ability for other users to access someone else tree via their photographs……….

    In conclusion, I hope to enjoy our subscription for many more years and continue to watch the genealogy interest across the world grow.

    Sincere Intent,
    Tanya

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Tanya: Thank you for your feedback in relation to this, it’s much appreciated. When you say that your cousin has not had a discovery since she submitted her DNA, are you referring to “New Ancestor Discovery” as explained here? https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000U0DdAAK/New-Ancestor-Discoveries-Frequently-Asked-Questions-1460088594466. That sounds extremely odd that she is no longer a match to her parents so we would really like to take a closer look at this, can you please ask her to call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST so we can investigate this further? We will of course pass on your suggestion in regards to being able to privatize photos in the tree. We hope the same as you and we wish you the best of luck with your further research as well.

  43. Barbara

    I have solved several mysteries about great-grandparents. One example is regarding the Petty family & descendants. This is a GIGANTIC family of descendants and they all had the same names. Most are documented. Then there is my 3rd g-grandmother, Nancy Petty with no records or clues. While I’ve yet to solve exactly who her father is, after 5 DNA matches to James EP Petty it’s pretty clear who her grandfather is. I have lots of Petty DNA matches, but James EP Petty is the only one that consistently appears in my results. I’ve also done the same with my Baker and Thompson families. (Also common names)

  44. Louise M. Lewis

    I have been researching my Genealogy for over 10 years & have proof of my ancestors going back 5 generations, but the DNA test barely shows that. Why?

  45. Katherine

    23andMe has patented the technology to create designer babies. Skin cells collected as part of our DNA sample can be grown into stem cells, which can be used to create embryos. As a customer, I would like the terms and conditions to include very plain language that our DNA will never be used in the creation of tissues, cells or embryos of any kind, ever.

  46. Katherine

    Louise M. Lewis – It is possible that your DNA test does not show that because further back in your tree, your ancestors are of mixed origins. For example, even if all of your ancestors were documented to be English, the average DNA of people living today in England show them as having less than 41% of their DNA from Great Britain. This can be because of wars and the resulting intermarriages. Ethnicity results are merely educated guesses at our ethnicity and will periodically change based on new information gathered as more individuals DNA test.

  47. Jane

    Somewhat reassuring, however, I don’t see an unequivocal statement to the effect of We will NEVER sell your data and any future owners of our company will be unable to sell it. All I read was, “We have not sold…”.

  48. Patrick

    Sure, you can say you are committed now, but you’ve provided zero evidence to believe that, in the event Ancestry is sold again, that our privacy will continue to be protected under this same philosophy. There’s no reassurances for the future of any kind, really. It’s not difficult to see why many are hesitant to hand over their biological identity without such reassurances.

    On the plus side, I can tell you from personal experience that insurance companies are, for the most part, too poorly run to properly handle any kind of genetic flags for inheritable diseases in order to spike prices specifically for those who are carriers.

  49. T.R. Oll

    A new investigative report shows that Ancestry.com has been selling DNA samples to off-planet “Merchants” who plan on creating slave drones to fund an intergalactic board game. It will be a hybrid of Monopoly and Pokemon Go and will employ several warring Ethno-States to be constructed on abandoned space stations, asteroids and junky, ghetto planets like Pluto. Once you sign on the dotted line, say” Adios” to your off spring, who will spend their days in an ultra-violent choose-your-own-Genocide, instead of relaxing on bucolic Earth and kicking back their feet to have a Margarita on the sands of Cabo Wabo whilst hanging out with Sammy Hagar. READ THE FINE PRINT, PEOPLE.

  50. Leslie Gemignani

    I’m looking for any information on my father’s Mother Frances Boudreau/Fournier. It’s very hard to track the connections how do I go about putting the information together?

  51. Lovenson previlon

    I lovenson previlon I love history and I love the family anglais postgraduate course nice I from haiti yes thank for you yes

  52. WGG

    Considering the data may be used for research, the least AncestryDNA could do is give some decent information to the people that take its tests. I spent $99 for a 4 slice pie chart, of obvious ancestry. I cannot put into words how disappointed I was to see the results. A total ripoff in my mind. It seems like the business model is gather our data and sell it for research. Really??!!

  53. Vicki

    Thank you for taking my spit and opening up a world of possibilities for me to know my background and find new relatives. The results allowed me to meet a first cousin I never knew that I had, who happened to be adopted. Without her spit and my spit, she would have never learned who her real father was after fifty years. I doubt that you have some deep, dark, dastardly plan to use my spit for evil. After I’m long gone and buried, it won’t make a pool of spit anyway.

  54. Nancy

    Ancestry refused to give me the results of my mother’s DNA Test even after I proved that I had purchased that test by the activation code and credit card number and date. The test was mistakenly registered to a person who had previously logged on to ancestry.com. I did not not know someone was logged on to ancestry.com on a computer that had been shut down and turned off. This happened at the Family History Center in Redding, California. Ancestry does not answer emails sent to them, rather they respond by directing you to go to their website. I will not purchase another test from them.

  55. Lovenson previlon

    I lovenson previlon I crazy hoistory englais nice I crazy school and I love la familly englais yes I from haiti yes .

  56. David Ray Melson

    I think its interesting that the new NSA government data center is just down the road. They collect information on us there. And we send these kits just up the road from there ! Hmm. Makes you think

  57. chris h

    Hi Jessica, you’ve written a few times here that Ancestry has “never sold or provided your genetic data to insurers, employers or third-party marketers” and that if a customer requests it, “we don’t share your data with third-party researchers”.

    Other than third-party marketers and researchers, are there other third-parties to whom you’d provide (or sell) DNA data without customer consent?

    Thanks in advance!

  58. cydney hall

    Okay I recently got my ancestry back and were pleasantly surprised by the results, but I am also wondering why I see no percentage that I am from the caribbean, when my father’s side is from there. Not my father himself, but his side of the family so i’m a bit confused.

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