I Told You So – That’s MY Fav And The Oldest Standing ftDNA. A Recipe For The Best Of The Best – New Privacy For Family Tree DNA

And well done! And I was sure they would cover this, that and the other, so all options are available and all people are protected.

You need to read it for yourself and I will make screen captures for the pages to show how and where!


When you are signed into your Family Tree DNA pages see the top right with your name; clicking there opens the pop-up window you see here. Clicking on your account settings will take you to the new settings page. See the tabs in the center PRIVACY & SHARING and click for this page.

Also note your profile has a link and you can see if all your info is up to date.

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The two checks in the center of the page above show where you can decide what to share and with whom.  I might well turn them all off if I want a break, or I need more time to decide. I might say yes to one and no to the other. This is your DNA – you decide.


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Read each section down the page and decide how much to share and how much you want to see or be notified about. There are many options for each of the three DNA tests — Family Finder (Autosomal DNA), mt-DNA and y-DNA.

Note the section where you can choose the tree settings.  In MOST cases I would say share the tree ONLY with matches. This is where I stand with this until I think about it further and see how the genetic genealogy is feeling and thinking about the new privacy.

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This is great news.  It seems they have thought of everything and made the changes easy and painless to sort out.

In the mean time – I think I will think on this for a while – not matter what the the opt out is good enough for the EU and GDPR compliance – it is good enough for me – opting out until i can think this through and also, again see how the community feels and what they think – I will be adding updates.

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You can read the privacy and settings on their website – credit is due to ftDNA for establishing a citizen’s panel of great folks to share input for the future. With folks like these to examine the issues there should be proactive steps for the future.

Family Tree DNA writes:

FamilyTreeDNA Citizen’s Panel

We are deeply grateful to our FamilyTreeDNA community for its support and input as we navigate this new and unexpected era of law enforcement’s use of genetic genealogy databases, like FamilyTreeDNA’s.  We appreciate all of you who have shared your ideas and suggestions over the past few weeks.

To that end, we have created the FamilyTreeDNA Citizen’s Panel comprised of seven individuals with various backgrounds in genealogy, genetic genealogy, and bioethics with whom we will continuously share and review initiatives that could have a potential impact on user privacy. The following seven members were selected to join the panel:

  • Katherine Borges – Director of The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG)

  • Kenyatta Berry – Professional genealogist and host on PBS’s Genealogy Road Show

  • Roberta Estes – An early adopter of genetic genealogy and FamilyTreeDNA volunteer Group Project Administrator

  • Maurice Gleeson – Genetic genealogist, speaker and organizer of the Genetic Genealogy Conference in Ireland, and FamilyTreeDNA volunteer Group Project Administrator

  • Tim Janzen – Long-time genealogist, genetic genealogy lecturer for Oregon’s local ISOGG group and other genetic genealogy conferences, and FamilyTreeDNA volunteer Group Project Administrator

  • Amy McGuire – Lawyer and Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine

  • Bob McLaren – An early adopter of genetic genealogy and FamilyTreeDNA volunteer Group Project Administrator

The changes show us we need to think through privacy – and use the tools given us to protect our privacy.

Use the settings

The NYT online has limits of numbers of articles to read without a subscription – so pick and choose carefully –

The Golden State Killer case was just the start. Hundreds of cold cases are hot again thanks to a new genealogy technique. The price may be everyone’s genetic privacy…”




2 thoughts on “I Told You So – That’s MY Fav And The Oldest Standing ftDNA. A Recipe For The Best Of The Best – New Privacy For Family Tree DNA

  1. FTDNA should opt *all* of their customers out of LE searches and only include them with the explicit, informed consent of each person. It’s what we expect from their competitors for biomedical research and it’s what we should expect for any controversial privacy issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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