I never felt comfortable giving away my DNA data and never signed up to any service with one exception. After I designed the GenoChip for the Genographic Project Spencer Wells was generous enough to send me a free test kit. Bennett Greenspan did the same thing. Bennett said that he would never share my data with outsiders, and I felt I could trust that promise. In the future, I refrained from ordering test kits even for kits that I designed myself, free or not.
Now, FTDNA has begun sharing genetic data with the FBI. I dare to say that my DNA is a bit unique, I even have a mutation that defines a new leaf on some haplogroup, and not a lot of people should have my genetic composition. Law-wise, I also don’t have “anything to worry about” FBI-wise. But this is not about fear, this is about trust. Reading this article:
FamilyTreeDNA, one of the pioneers of the growing market for “at home”, consumer genetic testing, confirmed a report from BuzzFeed that it has quietly granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its vast trove of nearly 2 million genetic profiles.
I knew that FTDNA’s science is unreliable the day they gave me my first results saying that I am 100% Ashkenazic Jew (which is 100% off), but this has gone too far. Reading Bennett’s excuses, which I received the next day made me realize that I cannot trust FTDNA anymore. I, thereby, asked them to delete my account.
More on this story here.
Police are interested in determining how much DNA people in the database share with genetic samples from crime scenes. Genealogists can then use the closest matches possible to build family trees and identify a likely suspect.
The most important parts, of course, are NOT explained.
WHO will do the matches and HOW will they do the matches?
Are we to trust the FamilyTreeDNA algorithm, which is a joke and had NEVER produced a single correct match for me? Or trust a complete amateur in genetics to do the matches for you? We all know what police do when they are ordered to bring in suspects. Ask yourself, how difficult it would be to bring in those suspects when they are provided with your DNA matches.