Cork Ireland

Meeting point for Cork Heritage Y-DNA, mtDNA, Family Finder
  • 898 members

Code of Conduct

Last Updated: February 4, 2019

This Code of Conduct has been compiled by Debbie Kennett. Please feel free to use this Code of Conduct for your own projects or to adapt as you see fit.

All project members and project administrators should be familiar with and should abide by the Genetic Genealogy Standards.

Family Tree DNA projects are run by volunteer administrators who work on their projects in their own free time. While every attempt will be made to answer questions promptly there will be occasions when real life gets in the way and patience will be required.

Project administrators do not receive any payments or incentives from Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA project administrators are required to abide by the Group Administrator Guidelines for Family Tree DNA Projects. The administrators of the Cork Ireland DNA Project are members of ISOGG and also follow the ISOGG Project Administrator Guidelines.

The activity feed provides a means for project members to collaborate and share their research findings, and to get to know each other. Members are encouraged to ask and answer questions on anything related to genealogy and DNA testing.

All participants are expected to abide by the following few basic guidelines:

  • * Be polite, courteous and respectful to your fellow project members at all times.

  • * Messages and comments posted in this group should not be shared on other mailing lists, forums and Facebook groups without the consent of the project member.

  • * Respect the privacy of living people. Information about living people, including names, e-mail addresses, and postal addresses, should only be shared if the appropriate consent has been obtained.

  • * If you are copying material from elsewhere please ensure you have permission from the content creator and that you acknowledge the source.

  • * Private e-mails and messages posted on other mailing lists, forums and Facebook groups, whether private or public, should only be shared with the consent of the sender.

  • * Religion and politics are strictly off topic.

  • * Racism and trolling will not be tolerated.

  • * Do not post messages about spam, viruses or chain e-mails.

  • * If you wish to advertise any products or services that have specific relevance to this project please contact the administrator before posting. Advertising which is not related to genealogy or DNA testing is not permitted.

All myGroups members are required to abide by the Family Tree DNA Privacy Policy

Law Enforcement Searches of FTDNA Data

With a search warrant or subpoena, law enforcement can search FTDNA data. FTDNA cannot refuse legally valid requests without facing obstruction of justice charges. It does not matter whether you have opted out of sharing your data with matches and projects or not. With a valid legal request, law enforcement can request data beyond what is ordinarily available to customers.

The only way to make certain law enforcement can never scrutinize your data is to never have a DNA sample stored with any lab and to never leave your DNA in public places.

The following letter is from Bennett Greenspan, founder of FTDNA, on February 3, 2019.

Dear Customers:

I am writing to address the news that our Gene-by-Gene laboratory, which processes genetic tests for several commercial clients in addition to all of the FamilyTreeDNA tests, has processed a handful of DNA samples for cold cases from the F.B.I. In many cases, the news reports contained false or misleading information.

Let me start with this categorical statement:


They cannot search or “dig through” FTDNA profiles any more than an ordinary user can. As with all other genetic genealogy services, law enforcement must provide valid legal process, such as a subpoena or search warrant to receive any information beyond that which any other user can access.

I have been an avid genealogist since I was twelve years old. FamilyTreeDNA is not just a business, it is my passion. I fully understand your privacy concerns on a personal level.

Law enforcement has the ability to test DNA samples from crime scenes and upload the results into databases, like any other customer can, and it appears they have been doing it at other companies for the past year. The distinction is that, according to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, we expect the FBI and law enforcement agencies to let us know when they submit something to our database. We moved to something transparent, rather than having them work in a stealthy way. Other than that, nothing changed that affects the privacy of our customers.

FamilyTreeDNA has always taken your privacy seriously and will continue to do so. We’ve remained steadfast, always, refusing to sell your data to pharmaceutical companies and other third parties.

One of the key reasons law enforcement wanted to submit their samples to us is the same reason many of you have: out of all the major companies, FamilyTreeDNA is the only one that has its own lab, and our customers’ samples never leave our company.

As previously stated, law enforcement can only receive information beyond that which is accessible to the standard user by providing FamilyTreeDNA with valid legal process, such as a subpoena or a search warrant. Again, this is specified in FamilyTreeDNA’s Terms of Service, just as with all other companies.


The Terms of Service were changed in May of 2018 to reflect GDPR requirements, and we informed our customers about the update at that time. Those changes included a paragraph that required law enforcement to receive our permission to enter the database and since it was a part of the overall update, notice was sent to every FTDNA customer. Without infringing upon our customers’ privacy, the language in the paragraph referring to law enforcement was updated in December, although nothing changed in the actual handling of such requests. It was an oversight that notice of the revision was not sent to you and that is our mistake. Therefore, we are reverting our TOS to our May 2018 version, and any future changes will be communicated to you in a timely manner.

This is the May 2018, GDPR-compliant version, communicated to you at that time: “You agree to not use the Services for any law enforcement purposes, forensic examinations, criminal investigations, and/or similar purposes without the required legal documentation and written permission from FamilyTreeDNA.”


I am genuinely sorry for not having handled our communications with you as we should have.

We’ve received an incredible amount of support from those of you who believe this is an opportunity for honest, law-abiding citizens to help catch bad guys and bring closure to devastated families. We want you to understand, as many of you already do, that you have the same protections that you’ve always had and that you have nothing to fear.

We’ve also heard from supporters offering ideas and solutions to make the FamilyTreeDNA experience a more comfortable one in light of this new information.

We are listening. Our plan is to create a panel of citizen genealogist advisors who will work with us as we focus on how to make your FamilyTreeDNA experience the best one available.


Bennett Greenspan