About that DNA test you got… Part II Addendum: Privacy?

Opening Pandora’s Box.abstract-2154782_1280

Sailing in uncharted waters.

The train has left the station.

It’s the Wild Wild West.

Brave New World.

I think we’re at the clichéd Wild Wild West stage, fast approaching the unknown. DNA enthusiasts and genealogists no longer know what to expect.

In the weeks since I posted the information about DNA testing and privacy, there was a massive change, then a partial walk-back, from FamilyTreeDNA and their Terms of Service. Other companies have come forward to clarify what is and is not private for their sites.

Genealogists and others are divided on law enforcement’s access to matches for use in solving crimes. These issues do not impact European Union citizens, as they are protected under GDPR, as are UK residents, for now.[1]

Test, don’t test, destroy your test? That is a very personal question. DNA has become an integral part of the genealogist’s toolkit. Its impact in providing answers to adoptees is real. Its impact in reuniting broken branches of families is real, and something I witnessed recently, giving my nonagenarian client a chance to meet close family for the first time since he was a child. Crowdsourcing DNA matches makes this possible.

Many of my recommendations stand. Know why you are testing. Read the Terms and Conditions, before you test. Stay abreast of changes to Terms and Conditions. Read the company’s Privacy statement. Pressure testing companies to respect why people test, and allow for opt-in consent.[2] Talk to family members. Be informed consumers.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay. Yes, I do want you to think of Saul Bass’ poster for Vertigo, accessed 31 March 2019.

[1] GDPR Associates, “GDPR and Brexit” https://www.gdpr.associates/gdpr-brexit/, accessed 31 March 2019

[2] Judy G. Russell, “https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/03/31/opt-out-is-not-informed-consent/,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 31 Mar 2019).

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