GENEALOGY: A warning to Ancestry customers who consent to use DNA services

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A warning to Ancestry customers who consent to use DNA services

By Tribune Star

A couple of years ago, Ancestry went into a partnership with a biotech company called Calico, owned by Google. The premise of this partnership was that Ancestry would make its customers’ DNA results available to this other company to use for their research purposes. It’s a for-profit venture on both sides. Ancestry sells its customers’ DNA data to Calico and Calico makes money off the research it does. Customers pay Ancestry to conduct the DNA test, but Ancestry and its partners stand to make billions.

This May, an attorney named Joel Winston, specialist in consumer protection, former deputy attorney general for New Jersey, and formerly in the Department of Justice, posted a warning to Ancestry customers when they consent to use the DNA services.

“To use the AncestryDNA service, customers must consent to the Ancestry Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These are binding legal contracts between the customer and Ancestry. The most egregious of these terms gives Ancestry a free license to exploit your DNA for the rest of time…There are three significant provisions…to consider on behalf of yourself and your genetic relatives: (1) the perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide license to use your DNA; (2) the warning that DNA information may be used against “you or a genetic relative”; (3) your waiver of legal rights,” writes attorney Winston.

Read full article and learn more about Privacy Policy here.

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