GEDmatch Joins with Verogen

GEDmatch announced that it has joined with forensic genomics firm Verogen, Inc., in a move that allows the company to ensure ongoing privacy protections and enhance the customer experience for users of its website. The announcement was posted on the Verogen website.

The announcement says that GEDmatch’s terms of service will not change with respect to the use, purposes of processing, and disclosures of user data. It also says: The website gives users a choice to opt-in to allow law enforcement to search uploaded files as a tool to solve violent crimes.

In the coming months, GEDmatch users will begin to see improvements to the website, such as an enhanced homepage that offers increased functionality. The GEDmatch platform will also be bolstered, resulting in “increased stability and optimal searchability.”

Under the terms of the deal, GEDmatch founder Curtis Rogers will retain a key role focused on the primary mission of GEDmatch, which is to provide tools to help amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. The pricing model had not been revealed at the time of the announcement.

Wired reported that GEDmatch updated its terms of service to reflect the new ownership but did not alert users by email. There is a message to customers posted on the Verogen website.

Wired also reported that in December of 2019, GEDmatch users found that their privacy settings were not ironclad, after reports surfaced that a Florida detective had obtained a warrant to to search the site’s full database. That search included individuals who had opted out of cooperating with law enforcement.

The Verogen About page states that the company describes its service as creating “thoughtfully tailored genomic solutions for forensic DNA labs.” Verogen sells its own DNA testing kit called ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit that can analyze over 200 genetic markers. The sequencing solution was “designed for use in Forensic Genomics applications”.

Related Articles at

GEDmatch Updated its Privacy Policy

Genotype Extraction and False Relative Attacks

Your Privacy is Ancestry’s Top Priority

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