On 5 October 2020, the trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists revised Standard 57 (respect for privacy rights) and the Genealogist’s Code of Ethics to allow private sharing of DNA match details. The changes also eliminate the need for test takers to provide written consent for use of their DNA data, although they must be informed about the pros and cons. These changes are effective immediately and will be incorporated into a future update of Genealogy Standards, 2nd edition.[1] Though applicable to all genealogists, the changes respond to concerns about the use of genetic evidence in initial and renewal applications for credentialing. The trustees also approved answers to a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Standard 57, two other DNA-related standards, and other issues involving the use of DNA test results in genealogical work. For the newly revised Genealogist’s Code of Ethics, see here. Following is the revised Standard 57 in its entirety:

Standard 57 (Revised). Respect for privacy rights. When publishing DNA test results, genealogists respect the privacy of living people. Genealogists refrain from publishing information derived from DNA test results that may cause harm. Genealogists publish personally identifying information about living test takers only with their informed consent. Assembled research results acknowledge living test-takers’ consents for publishing their data shown therein. [See glossary for definition of DNA TEST RESULTS].

[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed. (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry.com , 2019). In the months following publication of this page, Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed., revised (2021) was released.