Family Tree DNA has been giving the FBI access to its database of more than a million people. It is the first known time an at-home DNA testing company voluntarily gave law enforcement free access to a private database.
According to BuzzFeed News, Family Tree DNA has tested DNA samples for the FBI and allowed them access to its database. Authorities have also been able to upload DNA to the databases, allowing them cross reference samples to locate relatives of suspected criminals. The creation of interconnected networks of genealogical trees allows authorities to track down almost anyone the FBI might want to pursue.
Family Tree DNA issued a statement saying customers could make DNA profiles unsearchable for the FBI by opting out, but authorities will still have access with a subpoena or a search warrant.
Most of the more than one million people who have used the service have no idea the company has a partnership allowing the FBI access to the database of their DNA.
Other DNA testing companies have been exposed recently for selling people’s DNA data to corporations for a multitude of purposes, similarly without properly informing the people using the services.
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