This post has been updated. Today, Buzzfeed broke the story that Family Tree DNA has been allowing FBI agents to use their database for criminal investigations. What’s more, Gene-by-Gene, the parent company of FTDNA, is selling DNA analysis services to the FBI and perhaps other law enforcement agencies, suggesting a possible conflict of interest. According […]
I join Leah with being livid at such a betrayal by FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA). What’s sad is so few in the genetic genealogy blogging world have come out against it. This is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Now, before somebody claims the “If you have nothing to hide, you should support this arrangement” argument. I have nothing to hide. I used to work for the federal and county government and saw enough abuses to know why we should not support this arrangement. Plus, we regularly see law enforcement and prosecutors giving great examples of why this is a bad idea.
I opted out of matching on FTDNA which means the $1,000+ I spent testing with them was a waste of money. I will continue to opt-out as long as they follow this foolish and questionable arrangement.
If law enforcement wants access, let them get a warrant, subpoena, or other court order to obtain the information and do so without using fishing expeditions. I have let FTDNA know my feelings on the subject.