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A Major DNA-Testing Company Is Sharing Some of Its Data With the FBI

Written by Subject: FBI


FamilyTreeDNA's cooperation with the FBI more than doubles the amount of genetic data law enforcement already had access to through GEDmatch. On a case-by-case basis, the company has agreed to test DNA samples for the FBI and upload profiles to its database, allowing law enforcement to see familial matches to crime-scene samples. FamilyTreeDNA said law enforcement may not freely browse genetic data but rather has access only to the same information any user might.

"The FBI does not have unfettered access to the FamilyTreeDNA database," Bennett Greenspan, the company founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The genealogy community expressed dismay. Last summer, FamilyTree DNA was among a list of consumer genetic testing companies that agreed to a suite of voluntary privacy guidelines, but as of Friday morning, it had been crossed off the list.

"The deal between FamilyTreeDNA and the FBI is deeply flawed," said John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, which maintains the list. "It's out of line with industry best practices, it's out of line with what leaders in the space do, and it's out of line with consumer expectations."


Best comment or suggestion found under this article on

"To get the FBI in a tizzee, submit data to familytreedna, fill in the form correctly but take a DNA sample from your Pet cat or dog. If the FBI come after you and say your DNA was at the scene of a crime. Ask for another DNA test and piss them off."