Your Privacy

Effective Date of our Revised Privacy Statement: 23 July 2020

Summary of Changes

This summary is intended to help you better understand the most recent changes to Jooste Family’s Privacy Statement and how it may impact you. The updates to the Privacy Statement apply to your use of the Services when you view, access, or otherwise use the Services. To fully understand the changes and terms that will govern your use of our Services, please read the Privacy Statement. Specifically, the most recent changes include:

The addition of language to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) such as the categories of personal information collected, used, and shared.
The addition of language to the Law Enforcement section to clarify that Jooste Family does not allow law enforcement to use our services to investigate crimes or to identify human remains.
At Jooste Family, your privacy is a top priority. We are committed to being a good steward of your Personal Information, handling it in a responsible manner, and securing it with administrative, technical, and physical safeguards.

We also believe in being honest, direct, and transparent when it comes to your data. Jooste Family follows three guiding principles when it comes to your privacy:

  • We work hard to be transparent about what Personal Information we collect and process.
  • We try to use easy-to-understand language to describe our privacy practices to help you make informed choices.
  • We give you control over the Personal Information you provide to us, including your DNA Data, and how it is used, shared, and retained.

Other Important Things for You to Understand When You Use Our Services

  • You may discover unexpected facts about yourself or your family when using our services. Once discoveries are made, we cannot undo them.
  • When you make new discoveries with us, you should feel confident and informed about how we use your Personal Information.

At Jooste Family, we empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. As a result, we collect, process, and store your Personal Information as you use our websites, mobile applications, and services (collectively the “Services”). Personal Information is information that can identify you, such as your name, email, or street address, or it may be information that could reasonably be linked back to you, including your Genetic Information. This Privacy Statement describes our practices for collecting, storing, and processing your Personal Information and the controls we provide you to manage it within our Services. In addition, we have a Cookie Policy that describes our use of browser cookies and similar tracking technologies which is considered a part of this Privacy Statement.

The Personal Information required to create an account with Jooste Family is limited to your name, an email address, and a password. For Archives users only, billing information is also required for account creation.

Account creation also requires you to agree to the Terms and Conditions and this Privacy Statement.

By creating an account, you are telling us that you understand Jooste Family will collect, process, and share your Personal Information as described in this Privacy Statement and in any other documents referenced in this Privacy Statement.

Access to Jooste Family records to help you build a family tree, requires additional personal information, including payment details.

At any time, you can request Jooste Family to delete information you have uploaded into your account, such as a family tree or your Genetic Information. You can also delete your entire account. Please see for specific details about deleting your data.

The information below describes in more detail the information we collect from you. In this Privacy Statement, we refer to data that relates to you as “Personal Information.”

Account Information

  • Your name
  • An email address
  • A password that you provide us when you create an account
  • A mobile phone number that you may voluntarily provide so we can notify you of updates you agree to or to assist you when you contact Jooste Family
  • Billing information
  • Certain other Jooste Family services may support third-party sign-in services such as Facebook

Credit card/Payment Information

  • Payment information, such as credit card number, and your billing and shipping address(es), when you purchase something from Jooste Family, such as a Jooste Family subscription.

Profile Information

  • We collect the information that you provide when you voluntarily create a user profile.  This information may be seen by other Users.  We also may request certain documentation to verify your information for security purposes.
  • Additional personal details that you provide in your profile (for example, a profile image, your name, age, location, etc.), will be visible to other Users.

User Provided Content

  • Information you provide about yourself when you voluntarily contribute to the Services, upload content, or participate in community discussions, which may include information about yourself or other living persons.
  • Information about deceased persons is not Personal Information under this Privacy Statement.

Your Communications

  • Your communications with other Users through our communication features, as well as information you provide in communications with Jooste Family services and support teams, including audio and visual information (such as recording of calls with Jooste Family Services or information voluntarily shared when doing consumer insights research).

Contest and Promotions

  • Personal information when you voluntarily participate in contests and special promotions we run or sponsor

Computer and Mobile Device Information

  • Information about how you access our services, including the website you visited before and after Jooste Family’s site.
  • The Internet Protocol (“IP”) address of your computer, mobile device, or the proxy server that you use to access the internet, in addition to other technical information, such as:
    • Your computer operating system
    • Your web browser
    • Your mobile device identifier provided by your mobile device operating system and your mobile operating system.
    • The name of your internet service provider or mobile carrier.
  • Jooste Family may collect geolocation information form your device with your permission.

Information from Cookies and similar technologies

Cookies and similar technologies as described in our Cookie Policy. Please refer to our Cookie Policy to learn about our practices and the controls we provide you.

Information shared through social media features

If you interact with social media through the Services, for example “Like,” “Tweet,” “Pin,” or “Follow Us” links to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, Jooste Family will collect these interactions and whatever account information these services make available to us.

Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy statement of the applicable third-party company.

Information from your use of the Services

Information about your use of the Services, such as when you search or access records or public family trees, which pages you view or links you click on, or when you add people to your tree, etc., which we may use to infer details about you as a customer (for example subscriber, engaged/occasional user, etc.).

Information from Public and Historical Records

Jooste Family collects records from various sources, usually from official record sources, including newspapers, as well as birth, death, and marriage records, which may contain Personal Information relating to you. These records are usually made available to Users as part of the Jooste Family subscription Services.

Information from Third Parties

We may also receive information about you from third parties. For example, we may supplement the data we collect with demographic information licensed from third parties in order to personalize the Services and our offers to you.

If you purchase a gift subscription, we will collect Personal Information to complete the gift and notify the recipient, such as the recipient’s name and email address.

Personal Information (generally)

  • We use your Personal Information to provide, personalize, improve, update and expand our Services. This includes:
    • Authenticating your access to the Services and improving Jooste Family information security;
    • Processing your payments for subscriptions, services and test kits, and other products and features;
    • Building new and improving existing Services;
    • Helping you create, and providing insights about, your family trees based on data in Jooste Family’s databases;
    • Issuing surveys and questionnaires to collect Additional User Information for use in the Services, as well as facilitating product development and research initiatives;
    • Conducting scientific, statistical, and historical research; and
    • Detecting and protecting against error, fraud, or other criminal or malicious activity and enforcing our Terms and Conditions.


  • We use your Personal Information to communicate with you about the Services, such as when we:
    • Respond to your inquiries to Member Services;
    • Alert you to potential relatives identified by DNA matching, or through our family history services (for example, “Hints” about potential ancestors in our database);
    • Alert you to records pertaining to people in your family tree or to whom you may be related;
    • Inform you of changes to Services or new Services;
    • Ask you to participate in Jooste Family media productions or testimonials; and,
    • Provide you with information or request action in response to technical, security, and other operational issues.

Market new products and offers from us or our business partners

We use your Personal Information to market new products and offers from us or our business partners. This includes advertising personalized to you based on your interests. We do not share your Genetic Information with third-party marketers, insurance companies or employers, and we will not use your Genetic Information for marketing or personalized advertising without getting your explicit consent.

Note: You can control how we market to you by using the unsubscribe link in any email you receive, by changing your account preferences, or by following the instructions in any other marketing communications you receive; for more information please see our Cookie Policy.

Jooste Family does not share your individual Personal Information (including your Genetic Information) with third-parties except as described in this Privacy Statement or with your additional consent. We do not voluntarily share your information with law enforcement. Also, we will not share your Genetic Information with insurance companies, employers, or third-party marketers without your express consent.

NOTE: Jooste Family does not sell your Personal Information.

Jooste Family may share the following categories of Personal Information about you or your use of the Services with the types of entities set forth in this section for business purposes (as defined by applicable law), or as required by applicable law:

Identifiers (such as name, address, email address); Account Information (such as shipping address); Credit Card/Payment Information; Computer or Mobile Device Information; Audio and Visual information (such as recordings of calls with Jooste Family Member Services or information voluntarily shared when doing consumer insights research); Inference data about you; Other Protected Classifications (such as gender and marital status); Health Information as well as Biological, Physiological, or Behavioural Traits and anything else mentioned below.

The circumstances described below explains when sharing might occur:

Other Users or others you may choose to share with

As part of your use of the Services, you have the option to add or share information with all Users of the Service or through sharing features with individual Users and non-Users. You may have additional sharing options in some Services (see below).

Information in your public profile may be seen by all other Users, as will public family tree details (we do not show living people in your tree to other Users without your permission). To see what is visible, go to your public profile.

If you choose to participate in DNA matches (when you choose to see and be seen by your DNA matches), your DNA matches can see certain information, such as your username, how they might be related to you, whether you have linked a family tree to your DNA, and either all or only shared (at your option) regions and genetic communities. You may be offered other options for connecting with relatives or learning about familial connections.

You can share other DNA information, such as Traits, through compare and other one-to-one sharing features.

If you share details of your family history or DNA experience outside the Services, you do so at your own risk.

Service Providers

We work with other companies when providing and marketing the Services. As a result, these companies will have some of your information in their systems. These companies are subject to contractual obligations governing data security and confidentiality consistent with applicable laws.

These companies include our:

  • Laboratory partners;
  • DNA test shipping providers;
  • Payment processors;
  • Cloud services infrastructure providers;
  • Biological sample storage facilities;
  • Vendors that assist us in marketing, (including advertising), consumer research analytics, fraud prevention, and security;
  • Communications infrastructure providers; and,
  • Some Member Services functions.

Research Partners

We share your Genetic Information with research partners only when you provide us with your express consent to do so through our Informed Consent to Research.

Research partners may include commercial or non-profit organizations that conduct or support scientific research, the development of therapeutics, medical devices or related material to treat, diagnose or predict health conditions. In some circumstances, a research partner or Jooste Family may have a financial interest in the research arrangement.

Law Enforcement

Jooste Family does not voluntarily cooperate with law enforcement. To provide our Users with the greatest protection under the law, we require all government agencies seeking access to Jooste Family customers’ data to follow the valid legal process and do not allow law enforcement to use Jooste Family’s services to investigate crimes or to identify human remains.

If we are compelled to disclose your Personal Information to law enforcement, we will do our best to provide you with advance notice, unless we are prohibited under the law from doing so. In the interest of transparency, Jooste Family produces a Transparency Report where we list the number of valid law enforcement requests for user data across all our sites.

Other Legal or Regulatory Process

We may share your Personal Information if we believe it is reasonably necessary to:

  • Comply with valid legal process (e.g., subpoenas, warrants);
  • Enforce or apply the Jooste Family Terms and Conditions;
  • Protect the security or integrity of the Services; or
  • Protect the rights, property, or safety, of Jooste Family, our employees, or users.

If Jooste Family is Acquired

If Jooste Family or its businesses are acquired or transferred (including in connection with a bankruptcy or similar proceedings), we will share your Personal Information with the acquiring or receiving entity. The promises in this Privacy Statement will continue to apply to your Personal Information that is transferred to the new entity.

A note about aggregated data

Jooste Family may disclose user information in an aggregated form as part of the Services or our marketing, or in scientific publications published by us or our research partners. For example, we might note the percentage of immigrants in a State that are from a geographic region or country. Such disclosure will never include Personal Information.

Jooste Family Services are fundamentally premised on the notion that the personal voyage of self-discovery is not a one-time event and continues over lengthy periods of time – possibly lifetimes. Additionally, and with particular regard to our subscribers and DNA customers who pay fees or purchase subscriptions, the ongoing enhancement of our collections of historical records and DNA features provide benefits and insights to our Users over time. As a result, our retention practices reflect this ongoing value by retaining user accounts on our system until our Users inform us of their desire to delete their data or close their accounts.

Account and Profile

Jooste Family will retain the Personal Information you provide while creating your account and your profile until such time as you ask us to delete it.

Family Tree

Due to the multi-generational significance of family trees, Jooste Family will retain your family tree data as needed to provide you with continuous access, updated features, and the ability to enhance your family tree.

Usage Information

In some cases we choose to retain usage information (e.g., visits to sites) in a depersonalized or aggregated form. Once aggregated, this information ceases to be personal and will not be subject to user deletion requests.

You can delete your Personal Information from Jooste Family in a number of ways.

Personal Information

To the extent you have shared information through the Services (for example, by making your family trees public, or by sharing your DNA Results directly with other users), Jooste Family will not be able to remove any copies of information that other Users may have retained.

Please direct any request to remove information from linked archival records to the responsible archival entity.

We will consider requests for removal of Personal Information from the searchable indexes of the records we hold on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the law.

If you have shared content with others either directly or by making your family tree details available to other Users, some of your Personal Information may have been copied to other Users’ family trees, which can only be removed by contacting the other User and asking them to delete it.


Please note that there may be some latency in deleting your Personal Information from our backup systems after it has been deleted from our production, development, analytics, and research systems. Also, our laboratory partners may retain information they receive from us in order to comply with laws or regulations that may require them to do so, such as the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments regulations administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Jooste Family may also retain certain information as reasonably necessary to comply with our legal obligations (including law enforcement requests), resolve disputes, maintain security, prevent fraud and abuse, as well as to comply with tax, payment industry, securities, and clinical regulatory compliance requirements.

Jooste Family maintains a comprehensive information security program designed to protect our customers’ Personal Information using administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.

The specific security measures used are based on the sensitivity of the Personal Information collected. We have measures in place to protect against inappropriate access, loss, misuse, or alteration of Personal Information (including Genetic Information) under our control.

We use secure server software to encrypt Personal Information (including Genetic Information), and we only partner with security companies that meet and commit to our security standards. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse, or alteration of data will not occur, we use reasonable efforts to prevent this.

It is also important for you to guard against unauthorized access to your Personal Information by maintaining strong passwords and protecting against the unauthorized use of your own computer or device.

We may modify this Privacy Statement at any time, but we will provide prominent advance notice of any material changes to this Statement, such as posting a notice through the Services, on our websites, or sending you an email, to provide you the opportunity to review the changes and choose whether to continue using the Services.

We will also notify you of non-material changes to this Statement as of their effective date by posting a notice through the Services, on our websites, or sending you an email. Your continued use of our Services after notice of non-material changes means that you consent to the updated Privacy Statement.

If you object to any changes, you may delete your account as described in Section 9.