Skip to comments.If you used this ancestry site, remove your data now
Posted on 08/08/2020 4:16:13 AM PDT by gattaca
Genealogy websites have become increasingly popular in recent years. These platforms are able to scour the web in search of documents and archival data, which can help users build historically accurate family trees.
Theres also another side to genealogy websites that has attracted attention from privacy advocates: DNA testing. Websites like Ancestry.com can use DNA testing to find matches, but the fact that these platforms store this information on their end means that hackers could try and steal it. Tap or click here to see how Ancestry.com suffered a huge data breach.
Since genealogy websites collect so much data, their user database can be quite valuable in the corporate world. And thats exactly whats happening to Ancestry.com thanks to an acquisition by Blackstone its new parent company. This means if you sent your DNA to Ancestry, Blackstone has it now. Heres how you can remove it.
Blackstone buys out Ancestry.com According to new reports from Reuters, the multinational private equity firm Blackstone Group has purchased Ancestry.com for the staggering price of $4.7 billion. This acquisition includes all debt accumulated by Ancestry.com as well, which shows just how eager Blackstone is to add the company into its vast portfolio.
Now that Ancestry.com is under new management, youre probably wondering what kind of company The Blackstone Group is? Well, for starters, Blackstone deals mostly with private equity, credit and hedge fund investments. Most of its properties are in the financial sector, which makes Ancestry.com a curious purchase altogether.
Your daily dose of tech smarts Learn the tech tips and tricks only the pros know.
Email address Enter your email address SIGN ME UP But if you read between the lines, you can see why the website is so valuable. Ancestry.com is the biggest provider of home DNA testing services, which users can apply towards finding genealogy data and personalized health information.
Ancestry.com boasts more than 3 million paying customers from around the world, and the DNA data it manages is highly valuable to anyone who would be interested in selling it to, say, pharmaceutical companies or medical data firms. Its almost a no-brainer that a big hedge-fund company would want a slice of the pie.
Of course, if you submitted DNA information to Ancestry.com, this also means your data is at risk of being sold or traded. No, this isnt illegal either. Once you give the information to Ancestry.com, its theirs to use. The terms and conditions more or less spell this out. Tap or click here to see a tool that can read the terms and conditions of websites for you.
I dont want a hedge fund having access to my DNA. How can I remove the data? Thankfully, if youre a member of Ancestry.com, you dont have to settle with leaving your DNA data in Blackstones hands. The website gives you an option to expunge your DNA results through its settings menu, and all youll need to do it is your Ancestry.com username and password.
Follow these steps to remove your DNA data from Ancestry.com:
Tap or click here to visit Ancestry.coms DNA settings page. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and tap Delete next to Delete DNA Test Results And Revoke Consent to Processing. Youll be asked for your password next to confirm you want your information removed. Enter your password and tap Delete test results and Revoke Consent. Clicking this removes your results permanently from the website. Unfortunately, youll end up losing access to anything you might have learned from taking your test, so wed recommend writing the information down or taking a screenshot or two before continuing.
Then again, it might not even be worth it to take these DNA tests or use genealogy websites going forward. As weve seen in the past, they contain a lot of personal data (that can be bought or sold by third parties) for very little in return. Tap or click here to see another scary ancestry website you should remove your data from.
Putting any personal data on line is problematic. Putting your DNA online is foolish.
I’m sure there is more to it than what I think.
My wife spent the $25 or whatever it was on one of those tests.
“Gee - it came back that you have a 80% match with Northern Europe and 20% in Scandinavia. But you knew that already!”
Like I said - there must be more to it than the results we see. I’ve seen articles where they end up solving some long-ago murder through these sites and matching the DNA from some distant cousin to the killer.
My son and daughter used Ancestry.com. In fact, we are waiting for my son’s results to come back. Just wanted to see what others think about this.
“They” might be able to find more compatible matches for organ transplants. You may have an unfortunate accident.
Im <1% sub Saharan African. I need the documentation. Im no quadroon but my African heritage should be worth a small cut of the reparations pie.
Besides the DNA, they also know who your ancestors were. They can display your whole family tree.
A few considerations:
If you set up an account with a company and give them your email address, you can get out by changing your email.
But you can’t change your biometrics. Biometric data is a permanent connection to you.
Think twice before you use a fingerprint or facial scan to access your PC.
Think twice before you send your DNA to anyone.
Think twice about offering retinal scans.
If any company offers free apps, free reports, free functionality etc, YOU are actually the company’s product (sell your data to others, if only in aggregate).
Google will be happy to give you instructions to navigate from one address to another. In exchange, you’re telling Google two of your locations and the time you’re there. And they know what is at those locations. They can learn a lot about you by combining these data. Then add a “smart thermostat” so they know when you’re home. Etc.
Be careful out there. Think. Protect your data.
My family is Greek..really Greek. Really. I did the DNA thing.not one hint if Greek ancestry.
What’s the other ancestry database from which we should remove our data?
“Besides the DNA, they also know who your ancestors were. They can display your whole family tree.”
Including mother’s maiden name.
Banks still use that as one of the security layers, when establishing an account.
Having that info up on a genealogy site invites trouble from identity thieves.
Most in the family have had it done now. My side had been pretty well researched prior so the results were mostly not a surprise.
Wife’s side was a surprise. Not much prior research, lots of stories - and about 50/50 on the results.
Being a professional hacker for a US gov entity - I can tell you that this only erases the person doing this - their access to their data.
[The website gives you an option to expunge your DNA results through its settings menu, and all youll need to do it is your Ancestry.com username and password.]
Once done, the file does not reside on the server where it is located. I can tell you from personal experience that it still does in an off-site backup location.
Those files marked for deletion will in fact be deleted from the front-end web server and inaccessible by others looking for that information. The kicker is, when one had already signed a form to store their data on one of these sites - it is stored permanently. The TRACE BACK to other known relatives and all the other “fascinating things” these sites do to link people together - has those DNA records stored and itemized throughout the system.
The file path from the original owner of that data may be erased - but it can still be found. It’s a matter of how one retrieves it. Once it is downloaded and backups are created - it’s game over. The idea that those records are erased by clicking a button is just not realistic.
I find stuff all the time on people — stuff that should not have existed in the 1st place.
...just saying ...
DNA is an identifier that is on a higher level than a fingerprint. For this reason, I’ve always been paranoid that it can and will be used for nefarious purposes in the future, gleaned from these Ancestry companies.
I’m OK to never learn I have a long lost cousin.
If you or your family ha ever been to the Dr’s office and had blood drawn — then someone had your DNA stored - if not multiple agencies... It’s fact of life of how this nation operates...
It’s the same reason that in 2004-2005 US Troops went all over Iraq and collected blood/DNA samples - to be used to trace back insurgents if their bodies were left on the battle field or blown up in an IED attempt...
Your DNA resides all over the place right now...
So they have your DNA. Turns out you have some latent health issues (like late-onset diseases).
So your insurance premiums go up a few surreptitious bucks at a time.
You won’t know why, but they will.
Putting any personal data on line is problematic. Putting your DNA online is foolish.
It is a choice. One that millions have decided to make.
There are many reasons why individual may submit their DNA to Ancestry, but again that is their choice.
Governments and organizations have been gathering information about individuals since humans learn to write.
Most everything about you is recorded somewhere
and the list goes on.
The only difference is today computer’s exist.
Here is a scary thought for you. Even if you do not join any social network site online, but your friends and family have, then you have a folder with your name on it somewhere.
These are all just tools. As with any tools they can be used for good or bad, but if you think you can escape by not sending a DNA sample to Ancestry then you are mistaken.
A cousin you don’t even know sends in a sample and the DNA information is linked to them in their tree and by extension everyone else in their tree. So like it or not, your DNA (or a variation of it) may already be within Ancestry’s data base
The only other one I've heard of is 23andme.com
“They can display your whole family tree.”
And, when BLM does a search and discovers your great-great uncle, twice-removed on your father’s side, owned a slave...you’re done for.
I am going to hack my data and enter DNA information from Project Bluebook , an alien DNA strand genetic sequence.
When they come for me, it will justify the hail of lead they will meet.They have no jurisdiction over non humans!They would have to join the Galactic Republic!
Nothing like UFO ( U F**k Off) DNA.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.