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GEDmatch Under New Owners

The genetic genealogy site GEDmatch has been bought by Verogen, a forensic genetic company, as GenomeWeb reports.

Law enforcement officials in the US have relied on GEDmatch to uncover suspects in a number of cold cases, including, most prominently, the Golden State Killer case. This, though, raised privacy and consent concerns as GEDmatch as this was not the intended use of the site, and GEDmatch changed its terms and conditions, eventually opted its users out of taking part in searches unless they chose to take part.

Verogen, New Scientist reports, aids law enforcement with forensic work, and Buzzfeed News adds that it hopes to charge for access to GEDmatch's database and DNA analysis tools. According to Wired, users' settings with regard to opting into or out of police searches will remain, though users have to agree to new Verogen terms of service when logging on.

"We are steadfast in our commitment to protecting users' privacy and will fight any future attempts to access data of those who have not opted in," Verogen CEO Brett Williams says in a statement.

Wired notes that the terms of the deal were not disclosed.