BEWARE ANCESTRY.COM’s DNA Test

UPDATE:  You thought I was kidding?

https://thinkprogress.org/ancestry-com-takes-dna-ownership-rights-from-customers-and-their-relatives-dbafeed02b9e/

 

DNA_double_helix_45

I know these tests have become popular for discovering ethnicity. Heck- I wanted to do it myself. I even ordered the kit. BUT you need to read the fine print and understand that in order to get your results, you are signing away your rights to your DNA sample forever. The tests are not destroyed, but rather maintained in a database for use in any way Ancestry.com deems useful/appropriate for however long they want. Think about that before you donate your sample.

Efforts to cancel my test and get a refund were less than successful. Give this scheme a pass, as I wish I had.

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “BEWARE ANCESTRY.COM’s DNA Test

  1. All this genetic investigation turns me off. It’s all about gmo food — they’ve already approved gmo salmon for our dinner tables — and whatever spin-off industries they can generate. My twelve year old son has an interesting idea: that we stunted our evolutionary growth when we decided to evolve our tech instead of ourselves. Most of us have parked our minds in the driveway and hired the television to do our thinking for us. O Brave New World!

    • Your son’s idea brings to mind how the Tibetans decided to devote 25% of all human activity to exploring the mind (over centuries). As a result, they have developed a cosmic mind science but have no flush toilets.

  2. Mina Marial Nicoli

    I guess I’m just not that paranoid – the fact that they keep a record of your DNA doesn’t bother me in the least..

  3. write to your state’s Attorney General.

  4. J.R.Bee

    Wow, I didn’t know they’d gone that hi tech. Kinda scary :/

  5. That’s kind of scary and good information to have. Thanks for the head’s up.

    Tim

  6. Pingback: Think twice before taking DNA test | stricklands' blog

  7. Reblogged this on Jude's Threshold and commented:
    as suspected, now confirmed:

  8. I get the notion of hanging onto it to be able to link to others in the future as they do the testing but the other side to this is a few people may find out they are not who they thought they were, that the family they thought they were part of may not be genetically linked if you get my meaning and I am guessing they do not throw in counselling to deal with those results.

    • They specifically say they are not liable for any emotional pain the results might bring. No counseling. No ability to sue over anything. Once you participate in the test, you give away all your rights to what Ancestry does in the future. The DNA is theirs…forever.

      • That’s hard to swallow..hmm maybe my body double will roam around the world decades after I’m dead. It’s a chill factor for sure!

      • I wonder about all the sperm donors out there who can magically be connected to 25-30 offspring. All through the power of Ancestry.com. And commercial applications for anyone adopted to find birth parents. A whole new world!

      • Yea, for sure! We may not have the uses today, but there can definitely uses be later. Technology is always growing.

      • If I go by ancestry’s results, my dad is not my bio dad, since none of my known dads relatives on ancestry have shown up, and I have no clue who the people are that did show up, except for a 2nd cousin on moms side. Ancestry tells me it takes 10 weeks to cycle through 2 million people and after that if I still have questions give them a call. I was told I could delete my DNA sample permanently but it also deletes the matches. Otherwise he told me they keep the sample forever. I asked about security re: hacking and got the “we are completely safe and secure” speech. I searched through some of the “matches” family trees and even those names rarely seem to match each other. Ironically I did this for a cousin who’s not showing up on my tree now…. Trying to get a clue how accurate Ancestry is since it took 12 days instead of 6 to 8 weeks once in the lab.
        Anyone ever take the test twice under different names to see how accurate they are?

      • I wouldn’t be as concerned with hacking as with Ancestry selling the commercial use of your DNA. Why would anyone hack if Ancestry is willing to partner up with anyone, for a price?

      • Susan Gizzie

        That is so true. They have a nice add on TV stating you may think you are this and you may find out you are that, but forget to tell you that this may mean your parent is not really your biological parent – and no counseling of course. I am leaving this message for Kady.

        KADY,
        Please contact me. I had a similar situation and had another family member take the test as well. It kind of confirmed things. Maybe I can help you. It has been almost 3 months for me and I can guide you on what I did to find some answers and the correct ones…

        Please e-mail and I can give you my contact information.

        Susan

  9. I have wondered about this test. It didn’t occur to me that they would keep your DNA forever, for whatever purpose they might choose. But what I had wondered about is how accurate they could really be. I’m not interested in taking the test myself. I’m pretty confident I know about my ancestry. But a lot of people must not–and Ancestry must pay a lot for those ads for the test that are on TV all the time.

    • I had no idea they kept the tests either. Years ago, I did a DNA ancestry test with National Geographic and they stripped identifying info from the sample before doing an aggregate for future research. It seemed ethical. This does NOT. Ancestry appears to have an understanding that this will be very profitable in the future. What if in ten years, an insurance company teams up with Ancestry and decides to exclude everyone who has a certain genetic marker for a disease? The company pays Ancestry and Ancestry delivers a list identifying those individuals to drop. This is an easy case. We have no idea what science will be able to do in, say 30 years.

  10. Whooooaaaahh!!!! I had no idea! That’s crazy! I’d thought about it because I was curious to see just how many shades of pasty-white I actually am, but now I’ll just settle for believing that I’m made up of what I already know!!! Until I’m too old to care if someone has my DNA, I guess! Ancestry already takes enough of my money!!! Ha! Thanks for the info!
    Julie
    http://www.itsabeautifultree.com

  11. Hate to be that guy, but, DUH?
    Any site or company like that, including the church, that wants access to your family tree is only obtaining that information as a way of profiling everyone they can for whatever purposes they see fit.
    Be smart with your personal information. DNA identity tests are just around the corner, making it quite simple to be impersonated in our technological age.

  12. Goodness, I only know ancestry.com.au as a site where you go to see who your ancestors who came to Australia were(not much use to me as I have a European background, though I did find a relative who came here in the 60s, but I knew about her). Thanks for the warning. Question: do you only get to read the terms and conditions AFTER you sign up?

    A friend of mine did a DNA test with a major research project some time ago and found it fascinating. I expect they will have kept her sample, must ask if she cares. I suspect she doesn’t.

    • If you request the kit, there is a block to accept the conditions. I accepted and ordered the kit. But then I had to register the sample tubes and they asked me to accept again. This time I read the small print. Ouch! But yes, they do disclose if you take the time and read it.

  13. Paul J. Stam

    Good advice, especially to always read the fine print, and even print that isn’t so fine – Aloha – pjs/

  14. Thanks, Ellis for posting this. One of my friends plans to have her DNA tested and another did. He had people contacting him from around the world that they were related, but he enjoyed that. He also found out he was from different ethnic backgrounds. He also liked that.

    I’ll tell my friend who hasn’t yet.

    • I think older people, especially, are doing this thinking it’ll be great for future generations. Honestly, I just was curious about my personal ethnic makeup. I have no desire to connect with distant relatives, even the ones I know about don’t excite me, LOL!!

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