Monday 21 January 2013

New Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy for SMGF site

Two new updates have been made to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation website in the last week.

1) New Conditions of Use which took effect from 15th January:

2) A new Privacy Policy which similarly took effect from 15th January:

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation was acquired by in March 2012.  Ancestry have previously indicated that the SMGF site "will continue to operate for the foreseeable future". However, in October 2012 it was announced that Ancestry was to be acquired by the European private equity firm Permira. The sale was completed in December 2012.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the SMGF database now that ownership has effectively passed from Ancestry to Permira. The forms on the SMGF website clearly state that the database is now owned by AncestryDNA but do not mention the acquisition by Permira. The terms of the new conditions suggest that in future it will probably be necessary to "register for an AncestryDNA account in order to access certain services".

The new Privacy Policy allows for the sale or transfer of SMGF assets:
As our business continues to grow, we might buy or sell subsidiaries or business units. In these transactions, personal information is often one of the transferred assets. Also, in the event that AncestryDNA, or substantially all of its assets are acquired, personal information will, as a matter of course, be one of the transferred assets.
If you have submitted a DNA sample to SMGF I would suggest you review the new Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy. It should be noted that you have the right to remove your DNA record from the SMGF database. Instructions can be found on the SMGF Consent Form which specifically states:
Participation in this study is strictly voluntary. You may choose not to participate. You also have the right to end your participation at any time, and to decide whether the biological sample, genetic information, or genealogy you provided can remain part of the study or must be destroyed.
The consent form can be found here:

The consent form also states: "You will be told about any new information that might change your decision to be in this study."

As far as I am aware SMGF participants have not yet received any communications from AncestryDNA or Permira to advise them of the sale, the new Privacy Policy and the changed Conditions of Use. I hope this situation will soon be rectified.

© 2013 Debbie Kennett