10 July 2020

Part of Ancestry’s commitment to protect our customers’ data is providing transparency about when we get requests for government/law enforcement access to it. Starting now, Ancestry’s transparency reports will be issued every six months; July’s report will cover January through June, 2020, and January, 2021’s report will cover the July through December period of 2020.

As explained in our Guide for Law Enforcement and our Privacy Statement, Ancestry requires valid legal process for all law enforcement access. Additionally, we believe that the nature of our members’ DNA data is particularly sensitive, so we insist on a court order or search warrant as the minimum level of due process before we will review our ability to comply with the request. We also seek to put our members’ privacy first, so we also will try to minimize the scope or even invalidate the warrant before complying.

Below is our transparency report for January through June 2020, which covers law enforcement requests for member data. This report covers requested access addressed to all Ancestry brands.

Overview

  • Ancestry received two requests seeking access to Ancestry’s DNA database. Ancestry challenged both of these requests. One of these requests has been withdrawn, and one remains unresolved (Ancestry has provided no data in response) at the time of this publication.
  • Ancestry received three valid law enforcement requests related to criminal investigations involving credit card misuse, fraud, and/or identity theft. We provided information in response to one of the three requests.
  • Ancestry also refused numerous inquiries on the basis that the requestor failed to obtain the appropriate legal process.

National Security Requests

As of June 30, 2020, Ancestry has never received a classified request pursuant to the national security laws of the United States or any other country. In other words, Ancestry has not received a National Security Letter or a request under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Number of Requests per Ancestry Website: Ancestry.com (5). Jurisdiction: US Federal (1), US State (4), International (0). Type of Request: Criminal Subpoena (4), Search Warrant (1), Civil Subpoena (NA), Emergency Request (NA), Administrative Subpoena (NA)