I recently received an email notice from Ancestry.com that said the following:
I clicked on the link to the blog post and got the following:
We encourage you to view your DNA story again, as you may notice a new community waiting to be explored and shared with your family and other loved ones.
With 15 million people tested, AncestryDNA has the largest consumer DNA network in the world. As new people continue to join our AncestryDNA network and science and technology continue to evolve, we expect that the number and granularity of communities offered will continue to increase. This latest update is just one of many that you can expect on your journey of personal discovery.When I logged into Ancestry.com, I got an invitation to answer a survey. I decided, why not, I can find out what Ancestry is interested in. It turns out that the survey was quite disturbing. None of the questions dealt with genealogy or my interest in discovering my family history. The entire survey asked me about my feelings and attitudes. It was a survey I would expect from a sociologist or psychiatrist. When I finished the survey, here is what I got linked to:
There is nothing here about my family or genealogy or anything remotely related to my research. As I thought more about this, I began to wonder if this wasn't some sort of made over eugenics or the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.
The rest of the advertisement only increased my concern. Here is another screenshot.
And there is another screenshot of the same advertisement:
Are we now in the business, as genealogists, in identifying racial traits? Here is another screenshot.
To add further to my concern, when I clicked on the "Personal Discoveries Project" link on Ancestry.com, I got the following statement:
Apparently, Ancestry.com wanted to make sure they got the first "survey" before they asked for my consent. Maybe all this concern comes from being a trial attorney for 39 years but I do not see how giving Ancestry.com essentially an open license to use my DNA test helps me with my genealogical research. I think they have moved well beyond that focus. I suppose those of you out there that think this is all really good idea, but I for one, do not. When DNA testing gets into areas such as the ones evidenced from the ads, I think it stops being a genealogical tool and becomes something else.