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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Your private information in FTDNA projects is not safe

Today, I want to present you one out of many big downsides of FTDNA, a company that charges hundreds of dollars for very little genetic information and no customer service.

After a short (and most likely my last) discussion with FTDNA administrator lgmayka at he clarified that not only FTDNA employees but also volunteer administrators of FTDNA projects with unknown background and unknown history have access to private information of all project participants including name, postal address, phone number, and email address. Sometimes these projects include thousands of FTDNA customer.  FTDNA has more than 200,000 customers, many of those joined FTDNA projects without realizing this ridiculous lack of privacy.

Your private information in FTDNA projects is not safe. In case you want to keep your privacy at FTDNA you have to unsubscribe from these projects immediately. 

This lack of privacy at FTDNA might be less critical for a "John Smith from Kentucky" than for a "Abu Saeed from Pakistan".

If you "just" encrypt your personal information at FTDNA you risk loosing access to your own genetic data since FTDNA tends to block people and email addresses with no contact information (yes, they might change/block your log in password, too).

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