This is a quick guide to adjusting your privacy settings for project participation at Family Tree DNA. I, personally, take my privacy extremely seriously, and I hope your own seriously too. The new GDPR law in Europe has inspired some positive changes at Family Tree DNA, and there are account settings that need to be adjusted accordingly.
This tutorial assumes you have a DNA account at Family Tree DNA and belong to at least one DNA Group Project.
Understand Access Levels
- Understand Access Levels
- Set Access Levels
Before showing you how to set access levels, I believe that it is important that you have full informed consent regarding these settings. This is a quick summary of the three access levels. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
To get the most benefit from project participation, it is important to op into sharing of both your DNA results with other project members (privatized) and your mtDNA Coding Region results with the administrators of DNA projects.
Group Project Profile
This setting is oddly named. What it does though is allow your DNA test results to show in the project's mtDNA and Y-DNA results charts. Some projects make these public. Other projects make them visible to project members only. Personally, I believe that results should not be public. Therefore all of my projects are set to only show results privately among project members.
mtDNA Coding Region Results Access
To help you understand your mtDNA results, it is important to set your account so that administrators can see your coding region results when you have them. Results are only shown inside the Family Tree DNA administrators dashboard, so your privacy is protected.
I will note two things. First, mtDNA coding region results can contain medical information. If you have questions about this and you have mtDNA full sequence results, you should have your mtDNA full sequence results checked by someone like Dr. Ian Logan. Second, project administrators are strictly prohibited from sharing specific member's complete coding region results, however, they may point out coding region variants that are on the current mtDNA tree and ones that are shared by many members of a branch. The second could be a new branch on the tree.
Project preferences determine how much access each project administrator and co-administrator has to your personal account.
This level of access allows administrators to use both the tools in our dashboard and some basic access to project member's accounts. This includes Y-DNA matches, mtDNA matches, Family Finder matches. For Y-DNA, it importantly allows access to Big Y results and matches. This is important because Family Tree DNA does not provide project administrators with Big Y related tools in our dashboard.
It does not allow access to your private information such as your phone number.
Minimal Required (OK)
This is a new level of access that limits administrators to only use the tools in our admin dashboard. For some projects and for some administrators, it is fine. Other projects may need more access than it allows. It is not enough access for an admin who works with Big Y results.
This lets someone access all of your personal information, edit most of it, and download all of your raw data results for any tests you have taken. I do not need and do not want this level of access. Personally, I would not give any project administrator this level of access. It is the level of access that I might grant myself for my own kit or for a kit that I personally manage. I am not going to do that though, because I know that doubling the ways my raw data can be accessed doubles my risk for having that data exposed if one of my accounts should ever be hacked.
Set Access Levels
Here show how to set each access level for your Family Tree DNA kit.
Step 1: Sign in
Sign into your Family Tree DNA personal account for your kit.
- Go to the Sign In page.
- Enter your kit number.
- Enter your password.
- Click the SIGN IN button.
Step 2: Privacy & Sharing Settings
Once you are signed in, go to the Account Settings page using the menu at the top right of the page.
- Click the down-arrow next to your name and kit number.
- Click Account Settings in the menu.
Step 3: Set Project Sharing
On the next page, change to the Privacy & Sharing tab. Then scroll down to the Project Sharing section.
- Check the Opt in to Sharing box in the Group Project Profile section.
- Check the Opt in to Sharing box in the Coding Region Sharing section.
- Click the Save button.
Step 4: Go to Project Preferences
Next change from the Privacy & Sharing tab to the Project Preferences tab. On this tab, you will have a list of the group projects to which you belong.
Step 5: Edit Project Preferences
For each project to which you belong, you should edit the access level for each administrator and co-administrator.
- Click the menu for the access level you want for each project administrator.
- Select the access level you want.
- When you are done setting levels, click the Accept button.
Step 6: Confirm your settings.
After you click the Accept button, you will be asked to confirm your settings.
- Click the Confirm button.
That is it. You are now ready to enjoy participating in a group project.