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Old 02-05-2019, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Then take a test at a company that doesn't allow uploads and therefore isn't a public database.

FTDNA is not a public database. They are a privately owned company that provide a service.



There is no value in taking a test for genealogical research if there is no large database of users to compare to. I know many people don't have an issue with this but honestly you all would probably not care one way or another. There is nothing negative or wrong with wanting to use these tests for their original purposes only - for genealogical research and not solving crimes.



I'm sure if an option is provided for people to voluntarily let their data be available for review by law enforcement that a significant amount of users would do so.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:35 PM
 
15,023 posts, read 7,562,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
@PA2UK

I'm sorry but this sounds too much like a police state and it worries me when others seem so comfortable with it. To me it's a slippery slope. How long before law enforcement decides that Joe Schmoe who took a DNA test is charged with obstructing or hindering an investigation by not providing a family tree to help them catch a criminal? It's going to happen. And I suppose you'd be "fine with that" too.

And you're trying to draw an equivalency between criminal acts and things that are not crimes, like finding out your father isn't your bio father. I don't lump active criminal investigations and mistaken paternity together as "unwelcome news".

My example as a child of a rape lie had to do with drawing a contrast with murder cases. You can't fake a murder. I was arguing that there is a difference between crimes like murder and rape but some seemed to suggest they were equal. The law doesn't treat them equally.

ITA with this. And it is very strange to me that so many people don't believe things like what you mention won't happen. No one thought any of this would happen, but it has. Things happen.



And there has been a lot of talk about the blue in some of the forums I'm a member of that are geared toward African American researchers in particular. Black Americans are very leary of law enforcement due to this history of abuses by law enforcement against us, including planting "evidence" that is false to get a conviction. Many are afraid that police/LE will frame them for some crime or frame some relative of theirs and I know that sounds far fetched, but it is a real fear and has made a lot of people delete their kits.



We've had some members get contacted by CeCe Moore. I've had her follow my genealogical blog, which kind of skeeved me out as well. She is like a boogey man in some genealogical circles as many feel that this is ruining research for us.



Even though I don't get into the "cloning" or even believe the "framing" concerns as much as the next person, I truly can see a scenario where the blue occurs. After I had the person mentioned above follow my blog, I did change my user names and my email address associated with Gedmatch (and removed my GEDCOM from that site) and other locales to be more anonymous and not able to be known are "me." If I am ever contacted for "help" by law enforcement, I can tell you right now I will not help them. I am not a criminal investigator and that is not why I research. Due to me having this position, I could very well be in trouble with the law for refusing to share with them my research.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,569 posts, read 13,279,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
FTDNA is not a public database. They are a privately owned company that provide a service.
I didn't say it was a public company, I said public database, those are different things. It's a private company that opens their database up to the public for raw DNA data uploads. Anyone with raw DNA data in the right file format can upload their DNA to FTDNA's database. That's a public database. Just like a shopping mall might be privately owned, but they open it up to the public - anyone can go there.

Quote:
There is no value in taking a test for genealogical research if there is no large database of users to compare to. I know many people don't have an issue with this but honestly you all would probably not care one way or another. There is nothing negative or wrong with wanting to use these tests for their original purposes only - for genealogical research and not solving crimes.
Why can't they do both? Like I say, most companies still don't allow law enforcement access, especially those that don't open their database up to public uploads, and there's no reason it won't remain that way. Ancestry.com is a genealogical website, they are not going to suddenly be all about crime solving.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,569 posts, read 13,279,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
@PA2UK

I'm sorry but this sounds too much like a police state and it worries me when others seem so comfortable with it. To me it's a slippery slope.
That's fine - which is why I keep saying, don't test, or stick with companies that are unlikely to do this - like AncestryDNA. I understand your concerns, but it's not a police state. I'm comfortable with it because I do have the option to withdraw if I wanted to, so the fact that I have that choice, to me says it's not a police state. We all have that choice, and if you choose not to participate, that is your right and prerogative.

Quote:
How long before law enforcement decides that Joe Schmoe who took a DNA test is charged with obstructing or hindering an investigation by not providing a family tree to help them catch a criminal? It's going to happen. And I suppose you'd be "fine with that" too.
I didn't realize you were psychic. I don't think that will happen, because it's often possible, especially with police resources, for them to obtain that information without the person's help.

Quote:
And you're trying to draw an equivalency between criminal acts and things that are not crimes, like finding out your father isn't your bio father. I don't lump active criminal investigations and mistaken paternity together as "unwelcome news".
Both those things can be very upsetting and "complicated" news to people. But I guess I'm not surprised you don't take the latter very seriously since you don't even consider rapists to be among the worst kind of criminals.

Quote:
My example as a child of a rape lie had to do with drawing a contrast with murder cases. You can't fake a murder. I was arguing that there is a difference between crimes like murder and rape but some seemed to suggest they were equal. The law doesn't treat them equally.
So rape shouldn't be investigated as thoroughly as murder? Because that's all we're talking about here. The DNA research methods using genealogy is merely a investigative tool, it doesn't determine guilt, because that's what a trial in a court of law is for. If someone reports a rape to the police, it should be investigated to their full ability and not on the basis that the accuser might be lying. I'm sorry but you're logic makes no sense whatsoever, and that's not the way justice or police investigation works, nor should it.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,732 posts, read 7,859,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
That's fine - which is why I keep saying, don't test, or stick with companies that are unlikely to do this - like AncestryDNA. I understand your concerns, but it's not a police state. I'm comfortable with it because I do have the option to withdraw if I wanted to, so the fact that I have that choice, to me says it's not a police state. We all have that choice, and if you choose not to participate, that is your right and prerogative.



I didn't realize you were psychic. I don't think that will happen, because it's often possible, especially with police resources, for them to obtain that information without the person's help.



Both those things can be very upsetting and "complicated" news to people. But I guess I'm not surprised you don't take the latter very seriously since you don't even consider rapists to be among the worst kind of criminals.



So rape shouldn't be investigated as thoroughly as murder? Because that's all we're talking about here. The DNA research methods using genealogy is merely a investigative tool, it doesn't determine guilt, because that's what a trial in a court of law is for. If someone reports a rape to the police, it should be investigated to their full ability and not on the basis that the accuser might be lying. I'm sorry but you're logic makes no sense whatsoever, and that's not the way justice or police investigation works, nor should it.
All good points. I will add that you absolutely can "fake a murder." A person can stage a suicide scene to look like a murder to get back at someone. An accidental death can be staged to look like a murder to deflect blame away from the person who did the actual accidental killing (which could still be manslaughter.)

Many people view the evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey case as the later, an accidental death/manslaughter that was staged to look like a premeditated murder.

Overall, yes, so long as you are not compelled to submit DNA to these companies, the arguments about "police state" are overblown. If your personal information is part of those sites, it is because you made that choice, or gave consent to a relative to submit/download.

Last edited by westsideboy; 02-05-2019 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:13 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,038 posts, read 20,842,378 times
Reputation: 7645
Email from FTDNA

Dear Customers:

I am writing to address the news that our Gene-by-Gene laboratory, which processes genetic tests for several commercial clients in addition to all of the FamilyTreeDNA tests, has processed a handful of DNA samples for cold cases from the F.B.I. In many cases, the news reports contained false or misleading information.

Let me start with this categorical statement:

LAW ENFORCEMENT DOES NOT HAVE OPEN ACCESS TO THE FTDNA DATABASE.

They cannot search or “dig through” FTDNA profiles any more than an ordinary user can. As with all other genetic genealogy services, law enforcement must provide valid legal process, such as a subpoena or search warrant to receive any information beyond that which any other user can access.

I have been an avid genealogist since I was twelve years old. FamilyTreeDNA is not just a business, it is my passion. I fully understand your privacy concerns on a personal level.

Law enforcement has the ability to test DNA samples from crime scenes and upload the results into databases, like any other customer can, and it appears they have been doing it at other companies for the past year. The distinction is that, according to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, we expect the FBI and law enforcement agencies to let us know when they submit something to our database. We moved to something transparent, rather than having them work in a stealthy way. Other than that, nothing changed that affects the privacy of our customers.

FamilyTreeDNA has always taken your privacy seriously and will continue to do so. We’ve remained steadfast, always, refusing to sell your data to pharmaceutical companies and other third parties.

One of the key reasons law enforcement wanted to submit their samples to us is the same reason many of you have: out of all the major companies, FamilyTreeDNA is the only one that has its own lab, and our customers’ samples never leave our company.

As previously stated, law enforcement can only receive information beyond that which is accessible to the standard user by providing FamilyTreeDNA with valid legal process, such as a subpoena or a search warrant. Again, this is specified in FamilyTreeDNA’s Terms of Service, just as with all other companies.

ABOUT OUR TERMS OF SERVICE

The Terms of Service were changed in May of 2018 to reflect GDPR requirements, and we informed our customers about the update at that time. Those changes included a paragraph that required law enforcement to receive our permission to enter the database and since it was a part of the overall update, notice was sent to every FTDNA customer. Without infringing upon our customers’ privacy, the language in the paragraph referring to law enforcement was updated in December, although nothing changed in the actual handling of such requests. It was an oversight that notice of the revision was not sent to you and that is our mistake. Therefore, we are reverting our TOS to our May 2018 version, and any future changes will be communicated to you in a timely manner.

This is the May 2018, GDPR-compliant version, communicated to you at that time: “You agree to not use the Services for any law enforcement purposes, forensic examinations, criminal investigations, and/or similar purposes without the required legal documentation and written permission from FamilyTreeDNA.”

WE WILL DO A BETTER JOB OF COMMUNICATING WITH YOU.

I am genuinely sorry for not having handled our communications with you as we should have.

We’ve received an incredible amount of support from those of you who believe this is an opportunity for honest, law-abiding citizens to help catch bad guys and bring closure to devastated families. We want you to understand, as many of you already do, that you have the same protections that you’ve always had and that you have nothing to fear.

We’ve also heard from supporters offering ideas and solutions to make the FamilyTreeDNA experience a more comfortable one in light of this new information.

We are listening. Our plan is to create a panel of citizen genealogist advisors who will work with us as we focus on how to make your FamilyTreeDNA experience the best one available.

Sincerely,

Bennett Greenspan
President
FamilyTreeDNA.com

“History Unearthed Daily"
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:24 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,038 posts, read 20,842,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I highly doubt thatís going to happen. Never mind that the picture you paint is ridiculous and wouldnít ever be an advert. But additionally, I donít think all companies will allow law enforcement access - particularly I donít think AncestryDNA ever will. They donít even have their database open for uploads for other users, so their database is not public. They donít even have a chromosome browser for ďprivacyĒ reasons, so unless something drastically changes with their ownership or management, I doubt very much AncestryDNA will give law enforcement access without a court order. Ancestry are, after all, a genealogy company and DNA is only one aspect of their services. They arenít going rebrand themselves for something they havenít even allowed. You are acting as though all DNA companies are allowing this but they are not, and one or two allowing it does not mean the rest will follow suit.



People are already uncovering unwelcome news about their families with DNA. People who never knew they were adopted, people who find out their father isnít their bio father, people who find out their mother was raped, etc.



So your problem with it is that family members wonít be able to get enough information about it? Iím sure theyíll be able to find out whatever information is made available to public, possibly more if they are that closely related to the situation. I feel like at this point, once the criminal is identified it hardly matters how they were identified because the police already have procedures in place on what they are allowed to tell family members versus the public or the media, etc depending on the case. That really has nothing to do with DNA.



Things already are complicated when people find out things they werenít expecting. If someone isnít comfortable with that risk, donít take the test, or at least donít take one at a company that allows law enforcement to access. But personally, I would want to know if a close relative of mine was involved in a crime like that, however upsetting it may be. Again, regardless of how I found out or how upsetting it may be, itís still the truth. Not only would I want a criminal brought to justice, but I would want to know if it was a close relative of mine. But if youíre not, then donít take/upload a test to FTDNA or Gedmatch, or delete your data/opt out of matching if you already have (fair argument by those saying we should have be able to opt in or out of law enforcement having access without opting out of matching entirely, but thatís something youíll have to take up with the company).



And youíre entitled to that opinion, but your original comment was about mothers making up rape stories because it was a common ďexcuseĒ on adoption forms, which has nothing to do with this. This is about rape cases being actually reported to the police and DNA taken from rape kits. Your example has nothing to do with it.
I really hope they do allow us to opt in or out of LE using our samples. I think that would be a good happy medium, especially for people like me (and you I'm sure) who have family that's given us DNA for genealogy purposes and maybe some that can not speak for themselves any more to ask them if they want to opt in or out. It's not a conversation I want to have with any of my family because they gave me their samples to do family matching period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
FTDNA is not a public database. They are a privately owned company that provide a service.



There is no value in taking a test for genealogical research if there is no large database of users to compare to. I know many people don't have an issue with this but honestly you all would probably not care one way or another. There is nothing negative or wrong with wanting to use these tests for their original purposes only - for genealogical research and not solving crimes.
It's a huge breaking of our trust to do this after we've already bought tests or uploaded tests to use it for family matching. I did get an email from them which I'm pasting in a separate reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
I'm sure if an option is provided for people to voluntarily let their data be available for review by law enforcement that a significant amount of users would do so.
I would probably allow mine and mine only out of 7 and soon to be 8 tests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I didn't say it was a public company, I said public database, those are different things. It's a private company that opens their database up to the public for raw DNA data uploads. Anyone with raw DNA data in the right file format can upload their DNA to FTDNA's database. That's a public database. Just like a shopping mall might be privately owned, but they open it up to the public - anyone can go there.



Why can't they do both? Like I say, most companies still don't allow law enforcement access, especially those that don't open their database up to public uploads, and there's no reason it won't remain that way. Ancestry.com is a genealogical website, they are not going to suddenly be all about crime solving.
My question is, how do we know they're not already doing it without anyone's knowledge. That's what I question because a cop or detective that has access to the DNA sample can upload to My Heritage and FTDNA using a fake name and email addy. We just don't know.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:36 AM
 
15,023 posts, read 7,562,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
I
I would probably allow mine and mine only out of 7 and soon to be 8 tests.

This is the reason why I have concerns as well. My older relatives are very leary of law enforcement as are many of my cousins and my brother actually did ask me about this as I have a FTDNA test that he'd agreed to use but now he is hesitant.



I have personally allowed my own DNA to be used in various studies by "opting in" to those studies. I didn't do this with my relatives. I'd like to be able to not do this with any relatives unless they express a desire to do so.



And I do worry about the requests from criminal genetic researchers for our family trees. I've also put my tree on "private" so that it cannot be viewed anymore at ancestry unless I give access. Someone who I've worked with before on family research has actually been contacted by a researcher working with law enforcement. They received an email based on Gedmatch kits they manage asking for their family tree and/or names of relatives. This is the sort of intrusion people don't want to deal with. And just in black genealogy circles it has a lot of people spooked. The person who shared about being contacted also writes a blog and was told that the person they were looking to identify - a criminal was a "third cousin" that the user "probably didn't know personally." Black families often know our 3rd cousins and many comments about this was that if it is known they are a the family researcher and knows the cousin, what if this also puts them in danger from the criminal family member. There are a lot of scenarios that are frightening and allow opt outs/ins would be better IMO.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:43 AM
 
Location: NY in body, Mayberry in spirit.
2,657 posts, read 1,716,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
There are an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits languishing in the country, vs. how many serial murderers? I do think there is a difference, and I can see how law enforcement using these databases will have a chilling effect on customers using these companies to test their DNA for genealogy. This could spell the end of genetic testing for genealogy, as many people who test find that they have a close relative (maybe a 2nd cousin) on the "wanted" list and are expected to cough up names and locations of all their known relatives.

I am kind of sensitive to the rape issue as an adoptee who was told by the state when I was of age to request information that I was the product of rape. For years I believed I was a "rape baby" until I found my birth mother who said she made up the story. I would later learn that it was a frequent excuse to explain an unwanted pregnancy. Murders you can't make up. See the difference?
The crime is different, but your argument is weak. You draw a line at murder when using DNA information. That indicates that you believe that catching a rapist is less of a moral imperative than catching a murderer. I donít think you can separate which violent felonies you chose to include.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
@PA2UK

I'm sorry but this sounds too much like a police state and it worries me when others seem so comfortable with it. To me it's a slippery slope. How long before law enforcement decides that Joe Schmoe who took a DNA test is charged with obstructing or hindering an investigation by not providing a family tree to help them catch a criminal? It's going to happen. And I suppose you'd be "fine with that" too.

And you're trying to draw an equivalency between criminal acts and things that are not crimes, like finding out your father isn't your bio father. I don't lump active criminal investigations and mistaken paternity together as "unwelcome news".

My example as a child of a rape lie had to do with drawing a contrast with murder cases. You can't fake a murder. I was arguing that there is a difference between crimes like murder and rape but some seemed to suggest they were equal. The law doesn't treat them equally.
You canít fake a murder, but people have been found guilty of murder than later exonerated. So if my second cousin is accused of murder, should I withhold my DNA info by assuming he is innocent?
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,569 posts, read 13,279,810 times
Reputation: 10992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
My question is, how do we know they're not already doing it without anyone's knowledge. That's what I question because a cop or detective that has access to the DNA sample can upload to My Heritage and FTDNA using a fake name and email addy. We just don't know.
True, but thatís why I recommend sticking with companies that donít allow uploads.
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