Announcement FTDNA Admin GDPR 1: Updates to Account Settings

FamilyTreeDNA sent this message out to project administrators and co-administrators on April 9th. Once they finish their site updates, I will go over them as tutorials. I deeply believe that it is important for those who take part in group projects to understand both what project administrators can and cannot see as part of project access to their accounts.

Hello Group Administrators,

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, FamilyTreeDNA will make the first in a series of updates designed to bring us into compliance with the EU and UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Going into effect on May 25th, 2018, GDPR is for website operators who process information about individuals living in the European Economic Area (EEA), regardless of the operator’s location.

FamilyTreeDNA has taken this as an opportunity to simplify privacy settings and modify Group Projects to meet the GDPR privacy standards. We will also be working to improve the Account Profile user interface over the next year.

A number of these updates will impact the way Group Administrators handle data – both results and personal information – within groups. Other updates will influence the way customers, especially group members, control access to their information.

Additional information and resources about GDPR as it pertains to genetic genealogy can be found at the International Society for Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) site, including a slide presentation prepared especially for group administrators to suggest common sense activities relative to GDPR and DNA groups.

Important updates for group administrators:

  • Updated Group Administrator Guidelines and Code of Conduct required to be read and agreed to by all administrators
  • Administrators’ real names and email addresses will be visible to signed-in members
  • Mandatory “group member leaving” emails to prompt removal of any information stored by the administrator in any non-FTDNA location
  • Updates to Group Administrator access to member results

Important updates for customers:

  • New simplified privacy and sharing settings with customers being migrated to the “best fit” as determined by their current settings
  • Separation of DNA matching and email notifications, enabling customers to disable email notifications without disabling matching

New group members must select Group Administrator access level for every Group Administrator when joining a group

  • Release notes for April 10th:
    We will discontinue accepting and processing new project applications until after the full GDPR release is complete at the end of May
  • Personal privacy and notification settings will be migrated to the updated interface
  • Seeing matches will no longer be tied to match notifications at any level. That means you can turn off those Y-12 notifications but still be able to view those matches
  • You must enter your full name and current email address in the Contact Information section of GAP so members can identify who will be accessing their information
    Important learning center pages

Customers can find more information about the new Account Settings in My Privacy & Sharing, My Project Preferences, and My Email Notifications sections of the Learning Center. Pages not yet live but will be live the morning of 04/10 are Account Information and My Genealogy.

Stay tuned for future emails that will include details about the upcoming releases. For questions about GDPR and groups, you may contact

Thanks for your support,

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