HOUSTON, March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new media campaign from FamilyTreeDNA featuring Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, will begin airing in San Diego, California this week and expand to more cities this spring, asking the millions of Americans who have already taken a DNA test to join their effort to help victims of violent crimes, and their families, find answers.
Earlier this year, FamilyTreeDNA announced that law enforcement would use the same family matching features available to all its customers in order to help solve violent crimes. Since that time, arrests and/or identifications have been made in more than five decades-old cold cases, including the murder of 11-year-old Linda Ann O'Keefe of Newport Beach, California, and the 37-year-old San Diego mother of two young boys, Barbara Becker.
According to Bennett Greenspan, President and Founder of FamilyTreeDNA, "The genealogy community has the ability to crowd-source crime solving. With the evolution of the family matching database, which FamilyTreeDNA first created nearly two decades ago, we can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people in our society."
An independent poll conducted by the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine* found that 91% of people polled supported law enforcement's use of investigational genetic genealogy and consumer DNA databases to help solve violent crime cases.
FamilyTreeDNA's long-standing commitment to the privacy of its customers remains fully intact. As specified in FamilyTreeDNA's Terms of Service, law enforcement can only receive information not already accessible to the standard user by providing FamilyTreeDNA with valid legal process such as a subpoena or a search warrant.
Additionally, FamilyTreeDNA customers have the option to opt out of law enforcement matching entirely. If customers do opt out, they can still see their family matches but are excluded from being seen by law enforcement.
According to Greenspan, "If FamilyTreeDNA can help prevent violent crimes, save lives, or bring closure to families, then we feel the company has a moral responsibility to do so."
MEDIA: "Families Want Answers" :30 Spot.
ABOUT FAMILYTREEDNA AND GENE-BY-GENE
Founded in 2000, FamilyTreeDNA is the pioneer of the genetic genealogy and direct-to-consumer DNA testing industry and the top choice for consumer privacy, according to U.S. News and World. FTDNA is a privately held company located in Houston, Texas. www.familytreedna.com. Gene-by-Gene is a CAP and CLIA accredited laboratory located in Houston, Texas which processes genetic tests for commercial customers, along with consumer DNA tests for its FamilyTreeDNA division. www.genebygene.com