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IGGM Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cases does FamilyTreeDNA allow law enforcement to upload for matching?

Cases where law enforcement is attempting to identify the remains of a deceased individual or a perpetrator of a sexual assault, homicide, or child abduction.

With which law enforcement agencies does FamilyTreeDNA work?

Any United States law enforcement agency wishing to utilize the Service for one of the purposes stated in the previous question may submit a formal request to submit a sample or upload a file. Law enforcement requests are reviewed for approval on a case-by-case basis and must meet the requirements set forth in our Law Enforcement Guide to be permitted to upload a file to the database for matching purposes.

Does or will FamilyTreeDNA work with agencies outside the United States, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, or other countries? What are the limitations?

FamilyTreeDNA allows US law enforcement agencies to register for uploads and will consider working with non-US agencies on a case-by-case basis.

Does FamilyTreeDNA have partnerships with other organizations, such as Bode Technology, that are working on behalf of law enforcement?

FamilyTreeDNA does not have partnerships with other organizations working on behalf of law enforcement.  We have a fee for service relationship which is provided on a case-by-case basis. Third-party organizations that are legally authorized to work on behalf of law enforcement agencies may submit an application for the processing of a forensic sample or to upload a genetic file to the FamilyTreeDNA database. These accounts are classified as Investigative Genetic Genealogy user accounts and are submitted to the same guidelines and requirements we have set for law enforcement agencies. For more information, see our Law Enforcement Guide.

What is the Service that Gene by Gene/FamilyTreeDNA provides to law enforcement agencies?

For a fee, the Gene by Gene lab will process forensic samples for law enforcement agencies or legally authorized third parties working on behalf of law enforcement agencies. On a case-by-case basis and only if all requirements are met, FamilyTreeDNA will create an Investigative Genetic Genealogy user account for each genetic file uploaded for law enforcement purposes. Investigative Genetic Genealogy user accounts are given the same access as any other user participating in matching.  For more information, see our Law Enforcement Guide.

Has law enforcement paid for or been given any additional access beyond the Services stated?

No. For law enforcement, or their third parties, to obtain any further details about a match or user account beyond what they are currently given access to, they would need to submit a court-ordered search warrant or a subpoena.

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