GENEWATCH
 
UPDATE: DNA ANCESTRY COMPANY ACCUSED OF SHARING PERSONAL DATA
By CRG Staff
 

from GeneWatch 27-2 | May-July 2014

After Michael Cole bought a genetic ancestry test from DNA testing company Family Tree, he says he discovered that the company had made his personal information - including his unique DNA kit number - publicly available, not only publishing the information on its own website but also sharing it with other companies. Now a class-action lawsuit is in the works against Family Tree with Cole as the lead plaintiff.

The proposed suit, based in Alaska, accuses Gene by Gene Ltd., which does business as Family Tree, of violating the Alaska Genetic Privacy Act by sharing DNA results without the plaintiffs' consent. It is not clear how many potential plaintiffs have been added since the suit was announced in May.

Cole's attorney says that during a web search, Cole stumbled upon his information cross-posted on the website of a different ancestry testing company, RootsWeb (a subsidiary of Ancestry.com). In addition to personal identifying information, the site had posted his Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) short tandem repeat (STR) results.

 


 
 
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