According to its privacy policies, Ancestry.com takes ownership of your DNA forever.
Be Aware – Read the fine print.
Losing your lifetime rights to your own DNA.
AncestryDNA, a service of Ancestry.com, owns the “World’s Largest Consumer DNA Database” that contains the DNA of more than 3 million people. For the price of $99 dollars and a small saliva sample, AncestryDNA customers get an analysis of their genetic ethnicity and a list of potential relatives identified by genetic matching. Ancestry.com, on the other hand, gets free ownership of your genetic information forever. Technically, Ancestry.com will own your DNA even after you’re dead.
Basically, by submitting DNA to AncestryDNA, Ancestry.com gets to – use or distribute your DNA for any research or commercial purpose it decides – doesn’t have to pay you, or your heirs, a dime – gets a royalty-free license for all time – can distribute the results of your DNA tests anywhere in the world – with any technology that exists, or will ever be invented – with a single contractual provision, you are granting Ancestry.com the broadest possible rights to own and exploit your genetic information. Essentially, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. And, you can commercialize your own DNA for money, but Ancestry.com is also allowed to monetize your DNA for millions of dollars and doesn’t have to compensate you.
How your own DNA could become your biggest nightmare.
AncestryDNA conducts genetic code profiling and identity matches of relationships with unknown individuals through a dynamic list of DNA matches. This raises a thorny issue – your exact DNA profile is unique to you, but a substantial portion of your DNA is identical to your relatives. Thus, Ancestry.com is able to take DNA from its customers and also their relatives. Even if you’ve never used Ancestry.com, but one of your genetic relatives has, the company may already own identifiable portions of your DNA. The technologies employed by AncestryDNA allow for the collection of Genetic Data which includes a range of DNA markers such as those associated with your health or other conditions.
In short, Ancestry.com holds genetic data that reveals your health and other conditions which if revealed could indicate that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease which in turn could be used by insurers to deny you or your family insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and by employers to deny employment. Currently there are no federal laws that regulate the use of genetic information, genetic testing, or genetic discrimination for life insurance companies, long-term care insurers, and employers. The Ancestry.com Terms of Service clearly warns that genetic information in its possession can be used by state or federal law enforcement agencies “to identify you or your relatives”.
You won’t have a legal leg to stand on.
When and if the DNA information collected about “you or a genetic relative” should ever be used against you or a genetic relative by an employer, insurer, or law enforcement, be aware “you or a genetic relative” will have very limited legal rights. Ancestry.com takes no responsibility for any damages that AncestryDNA may cause unintentionally or purposefully in the use of your DNA. In the event you or your genetic information causes harm, you agree to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless AncestryDNA against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses.
A final legal indignity for Ancestry.com customers is that they must waive fundamental legal rights by agreeing to mandatory binding arbitration. Customers must pursue their disputes through arbitration, rather than court. In arbitration, the established legal rules of discovery, evidence, and trial by jury do not exist. Lastly, if many AncestryDNA customers want to join together to file a lawsuit against Ancestry.com as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class, consolidated, or representative action, they are prohibited.
In the end you lose your DNA.
Paul Cogan is a writer for the republicandirtytricks.com and is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him by following him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/paul.f.cogan.
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