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© by Chronos Heritage Services. 

GEDMATCH Purchased by Verogen, Inc.

January 2, 2020

 

For those of us that do genetic genealogy, we know how important GEDMATCH is-- it doesn't try to sell us its own direct-to-consumer DNA test kit, and it's always been free to upload raw data, generate matches, compare results, and apply advanced parameters. I have my own DNA results on the site, and several of my clients also have their DNA uploaded on GEDMATCH.

 

Most people also know that GEDMATCH, being as open as it is, has enabled law enforcement solve a great number of cold cases regarding unsolved crimes, missing persons, and unidentified bodies, motivating privacy concerns for many people (though personally, if I can help solve a crime or bring closure to families, I have no problem with my DNA being used to do so).

 

In December, 2019, the genealogy community learned that Verogen, Inc., a forensic DNA company "pursuing truth using genetic tools", acquired GEDMATCH. Curtis Rogers of GEDMATCH assures customers that this will be a great benefit to genealogists, arguing that it benefits Verogen to grow the consumer base, though I'm not sure how that is if it is going to continue to be free. Rogers also cites corporate privacy protection policies as better for customers-- having a team of lawyers and IT specialists take on the liability of information storage and usage does make sense; however, most of us have a great distrust for corporate interests.

 

For the moment, I'm leaving my DNA results on the site and advising my customers to do the same if they are comfortable with it, but I'm also watching very closely to see what Verogen's actions are in 2020. 

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