Ancestry.com uses DNA samples from its customers to estimate their ethnic ancestry, and a new update rolled out last week that altered ethnicity profiles posted online prompted some users to question the accuracy of the service’s information.
When a user sends a vial of saliva to the company to receive a detailed genetic portfolio and ethnic ancestry report, they are aware that the information is not guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate, USA Today Reported, but the new update dramatically changed the ethnic profiles of some users.
One customer said in Twitter post that her ethnicity went from being 20 percent Italian to five percent Italian.
“My bio-mom was 50 percent Italian and I have traced the family tree many generations on her maternal and paternal lines. What gives?,” she asked.
Another Twitter user noted that his initial ancestry results were 49 percent Italian and Greek but the profile changed to seven percent Italian and 0 percent Greek.
Some users were happier with the updated information.
“The new @Ancestry #AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates are more accurate, and match my family tree better, after their recent update,” said one Twitter user.
“My AncestryDNA update finally came through... WAAAAAY more accurate now,” tweeted another user.
In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, an Ancestry spokesperson confirmed that nearly all its 10 million users saw a change.
“Whether it is seeing a region broken out into more detail (e.g. specifying Sweden or Norway instead of Scandinavia), a small increase or decrease in a percentage from one of their regions or a more substantial evolution,” the spokesperson said.
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