FAMILYTREEDNA DEPUTIZES ITSELF, STARTS PITCHING DNA MATCHING SERVICES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

FAMILYTREEDNA DEPUTIZES ITSELF, STARTS PITCHING DNA MATCHING SERVICES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

One DNA-matching company has decided it's going to corner an under-served market: US law enforcement. FamilyTreeDNA -- last seen here opening up its database to the FBI without informing its users first -- is actively pitching its services to law enforcement.

The television spot, to air in San Diego first, asks anyone who has had a direct-to-consumer DNA test from another company, like 23andMe or Ancestry.com, to upload a copy so that law enforcement can spot any connections to DNA found at crime scenes.

The advertisement features Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, a Salt Lake City teen who was abducted in 2002 but later found alive. “If you are one of the millions of people who have taken a DNA test, your help can provide the missing link,” he says in the spot.

Welcome to FamilyTreeDNA's cooperating witness program -- one it profits from by selling information customers give it to law enforcement. The tug at the heartstrings is a nice touch. FamilyTreeDNA is finally being upfront with users about its intentions for their DNA samples. This is due to its founder deciding -- without consulting his customers -- that they're all as willing as he is to convert your DNA samples into public goods

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are things I would love to find out about my family, having lost both parents relatively early in life; but I would never use this kind of DNA service, ever.

This company is looking at a tsunami of potential class action lawsuits, and getting sued out of existence, because no consent has been given by their customers, that their DNA would be used in this way.

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