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Well, I have put it off as long as I could. Following the publishing of "The Capertons" I took a step back from genealogy, to kind of recharge my batteries. As you undoubtedly noticed there have not been many updates to the site. There were several reasons for this. In no particular order, The Content Management System (CMS) that runs the website is going thru a major upgrade; some of the apps I use to run the site have been abandoned; there is a major update to PHP which is the code that runs the CMS. I was burned out from the production and distrubution of the book. So now I am back to face the music! In Detail:

The Family Trees section to the Society website is now back online! Back in 2019 after the developer stopped development of Joaktree, the app we use to display the family trees, we were forced to take down the pages due to security issues with the code. Late last year Robert Gastaud over at JoomXtensions updated the code so that it once again works on current websites.

Family Tree DNA has always said that the users privacy matter more to them than anything else. Over the years the Privacy has indeed improved. Having been a GAP administrator from the early years I can confirm that it has become increasingly difficult to both interact with and help those who have joined the Caperton Group on ftDNA, all in the name of Privacy. I have accepted this because I truely belive in privacy and I understand that not EVERYONE has a facebook account that they share their entire lives with total strangers (ok I digress). However, what Family Tree DNA has not been quite so open about until they just recently got caught, is that if you say you are law enforcement, and contact Bennett Greenspan founder of ftDNA and give him a sob story about an unsolved crime he will willingly turn over the keys to the kingdom and let you mine the ftDNA database for clues to help them solve their crime. He states that rape and murder and other heineous crimes are more important than family history privacy. This all sounds good in theory EXCEPT I believe that he does not have the right from me to share my private DNA information without my permission. It really is that simple. He does NOT have my permission. Period. End of Story.

Mia Culpa from ftDNA

So as usually happens in cases like these, ftDNA eventually got caught, and now their story is when you signed up you automatically approved this search of your DNA. However if are so inclined you can opt out of Law Enforcement Searches by changing a setting in your profile. ftDNA is saying that the vast majority of users agrees that Law Enforcement should have unfettered access to their DNA because less than 2% of their users have changed the Law Enfocement Setting. HOWEVER (again), Privacy is my right I should be the one giving the permission not Bennett Greenspan. Additionally, I should be requried to opt IN to the Law Enforcement NOT have to opt OUT. As for the 98% of people Mr. Greenspan says approve of his giving personal DNA info to Law Enforcement, I would like to see how many of those individuals  even know he is selling it (yes it is a revenue source for ftDNA) and or know that it is possible to opt OUT?

How To Opt OUT

There. With that said I will tell you how to opt In or Out. Log into your ftDNA account, go to your profile and click the link that says Manage Personal Information. Click the Privacy & Sharing Tab. Part way down you will see a paragraph called Law Enforcement Matching (LEM). If the button to the right of the paragraph is Green (which it is by default) then you have given permission to ftDNA to sell your DNA data to Law Enforcement. If you do not wish to do so then click the button and it should grey out. At that point you have then opted out of ftDNA selling your information to Law Enforcement.

In conclusion

Dont misunderstand me. I think ftDNA is a fantastic tool both for genealogy AND the potential to solve crimes. What doesn't change however is that this is still MY data and it is a privacy issue. I simply have not given permission for my DNA to be used in this way. 

Finally what really disappoints me is that While Bennett Greenspan DID apologize, the apology WASN'T for his illegal use and sale of DNA data he had no right to sell, rather it was that he didn't tell us he was doing this in a timely fashion. THAT folks, sounds like someone that apologized because he got caught, not because he feels bad about lying to us. I have been managing this website for over 17 years now, and have NEVER sold given traded or otherwise shared member information. Look at the bottom of virtually every page on this site and you will find a link to the privacy policy for this site in PLAIN english. I live what I believe when it comes to privacy.