For more than 20 years, people have trusted us with personal information about themselves and their families. As we lead the way in consumer DNA testing, we are committed to upholding our privacy principles. When you make new discoveries with us, we want you to feel confident and informed.
Stewardship: Whether it’s your family history, genetic data, or health information, we will be a responsible steward, managing your data in a principled fashion that follows clearly stated policies and applicable laws.
Transparency: We will explain our practices in policies that are easy to understand. This includes what data we collect, who we share your data with and how we store and process it.
User Choice: You have choices about sharing your information. Where possible, we make it easy for you to change your mind.
Responsible Research: We are committed to ethical practices in handling data about you for product development research and if you have consented to participate, for external scientific research.
Security: Keeping your data secure is a priority. We will use industry standard security practices designed to keep your data safe. We will not respond to law enforcement requests for your data unless required by law.
Depending on which services you use, we collect different kinds of information from or about you.
Ancestry family trees contain information about you that you share with us, as well as information from our archives. You can choose to upload data to your tree like family records, images, and other personal information about yourself and others.
You have the choice to make your tree private, which means other users cannot view your tree, and limited tree information will appear in search results, such as the names of deceased family members. You can also choose to make your private tree “unindexed,” which means your tree will not be found in searches by other users. If you make your tree public, other users can view your tree. By default, we hide information about living people in your family tree, regardless of whether your tree is public or private. If you choose to share your tree with a specific user, you can decide whether to share with them parts of the tree that include information about your living relatives. Learn more about these tree settings.
We use data from trees along with information in our archives and from other users to further enhance genealogy research and improve or develop new products and services for our users, and we use de-identified information from public trees, which does not include common identifying information, in external research with third-party collaborators.
AncestryDNA collects genetic data from the tests we run on saliva samples submitted to us, through genotyping and also at times through whole or partial genome sequencing. We also collect personal data that you add to your account or share with us.
The current AncestryDNA product results are based on a test of approximately 700,000 markers in your DNA identified via genotyping. Certain markers are associated with physical traits like the color of your hair or eyes, or may be associated with some diseases or conditions or with whether a drug helps you or gives you side effects. There may be other things that these DNA markers can indicate or predict that are not known today. We use these markers to help identify your ethnicity and other traits, find relatives, in research and development of our products and services, and if you have agreed to participate, in external research with third party collaborators.
You own your DNA data and you can choose to delete your DNA test results as described in the AncestryDNA Privacy Statement, or have us destroy your DNA sample at any time. If you do not, we retain your DNA test results and DNA sample.
We also may collect health data from you, which includes information and opinions about your family health history, and health and lifestyle information about you and your family members.
We use genetic and health data, along with family tree data and your personal data, to perform research in genealogy, anthropology, evolution, medicine, and other health areas to improve, research, and develop new products. We will never share your genetic or health information with third-party research collaborators unless you opt in to the Ancestry Human Diversity Research Project by agreeing to the AncestryDNA Informed Consent or the AncestryHealth Informed Consent, or we otherwise obtain your explicit consent. You may opt out of the Research Project at any time; however, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results.
Please note that AncestryDNA is only available in these countries. AncestryHealth is only available in the United States.
We use a variety of cookies, beacons, and other similar technologies to optimize and customize your experience on our websites, evaluate and improve site performance, and deliver content and advertisements specific to your interests on our websites and elsewhere on the Internet.
These technologies record limited information when you visit our sites, such as IP address, operating system, device ID, date and time of access, and the web pages visited. This collected information helps us to, for example, save your search results, remember your password, store your shopping cart, and provide you with relevant ads. We also use mobile analytics software to allow us to deliver and better understand the functionality of our websites.
Get answers to some commons questions.
Initially, Ancestry collects basic information from you to create your account(s), including name, email address, and billing information. As you opt in to additional services, we collect additional data, such as family tree data, DNA data, health information or other information you provide. We also collect some information about users who visit our websites using cookies and similar technologies. See the Privacy Statement for the particular website(s) or service(s) you are using for more details about the specific types of information Ancestry may collect and your choices related to that data.
Ancestry primarily uses information about you to provide and improve our services to you. For example, we use information about you to create your account, deliver our websites and services, help you build a family tree, and perform tests on your DNA. We may also use your information in genealogical or genomic research projects, to improve or develop new products and services, and for internal business purposes. We may also use personal information about you to verify your identity, communicate with you and to deliver advertisements. See our Privacy Statements (in Important Resources below) for more details.
Ancestry shares information as you direct us to, for example, if you make your family tree public, share your DNA results, or consent to participate in our Research Project. To be clear, we do not share common identifying information linked to your genetic or health data with third parties unless we obtain your explicit consent or are required to do so. Otherwise, we share information as described in our Privacy Statements, such as with our affiliated companies, other users, our service providers, our advertising partners, and in other limited scenarios, such as in response to valid legal process or as appropriate to protect the rights, property, safety, confidentiality, or reputation of Ancestry, our affiliates, and our users.
You can read the Privacy Statement for the particular website(s) or service(s) you are using for more details about how Ancestry shares your data and your choices related to that sharing.
You can review, update, or delete most information about yourself through your account page on the relevant website (e.g., the “Your Account” page on Ancestry.com or the “Account Details” page on Newspapers.com and Fold3.com) usually located in the pull-down menu in the top right corner of the relevant website.
For AncestryDNA, you can review and update your information on your DNA settings page. If you agreed to the Informed Consent to participate in research, and then withdraw consent, we will stop using information about you promptly for the Research Project and any future research. However, information cannot be withdrawn from studies in progress, completed studies, or published results.
If you have questions about how to review, update or delete information, you should look in the “Manage Your privacy” pages below, or contact our Member Services team.
For all requests, Ancestry requires valid legal process in writing before producing any personal information about our users. We publish an annual transparency report describing requests we received. When we receive a request, our team reviews it for compliance with legal requirements and our policies. If we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it. We notify users prior to turning over any information in order to give them an opportunity to challenge the request unless it would be counterproductive or we are legally prevented from doing so.
When you submit a saliva sample to AncestryDNA, we may use genetic, health and personal data about you to improve our services and websites and develop new products. If you agree to the AncestryDNA Informed Consent or the AncestryHealth Informed Consent, your DNA and other data about you may be used in research to further understand human history and improve human health.
We use industry standard security practices to store your DNA sample, your DNA test results, and other health information you provide to us, and we limit access to authorized individuals who complete privacy training. We store your DNA test results and DNA sample without your name or other common identifying information such as your address. We do not share with third parties common identifying information linked to your genetic or health data except as legally required or with your explicit consent.
Ancestry may market to you online, via email, or through other methods, depending on your choices. For example, we allow you to opt in and out of receiving marketing emails from Ancestry and its trusted third party partners in your account settings.
We may deliver “targeted” or “interest-based” advertising on our websites and elsewhere on the internet, based on your interests and activities on the internet. Please visit the Network Advertising Initiative or the Digital Advertising Alliance for additional information about interest-based ads.
Targeted ads placed on our behalf contain information on or near them about the third-party delivering the ads and how to opt out of receiving similar ads from that party. If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here. Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising and generic ads will still appear on our websites. For more information about opting out of targeted ads from other advertisers, such as Facebook, please see Cookies and Advertising.