Lawsuit Alleges Backroom Deal With Ancestry.com

Lawsuit Alleges Backroom Deal With Ancestry.com

A lawsuit filed by Reclaim the Records alleges a possible backroom deal between the New York State Department of Health and Ancestry.com. Here's the scoop.

lawsuit ancestry.com

Reclaim the Records (RTR), a nonprofit group that secures public access to open records, is suing the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) for giving preferential treatment to a Freedom of Information Act request from for-profit genealogy website Ancestry.com. The lawsuit, pending in the Supreme Court of New York, Albany county, seeks information about potential “backroom dealing and preferential treatment” to expedite Ancestry’s access to the same state death index that RTR was in the process of requesting.

According to the RTR website, “We discovered that Ancestry had filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for the identical records more than a year after our own request—but received their copies of the records first. Ancestry did not appear to have been constrained by any of the same requirements the NYS DOH had given, in writing, to our request.” Those requirements included covering the cost of digitization (initially set at $152,000), making a 50 percent down payment, waiting for a state archivist to inspect the condition of the microfiched records, securing state approval for the model of microfiche scanner and its hours and location of use, and others.

RTR also discovered that Ancestry’s FOIL request contains wording copied and pasted from RTR’s own request, filed a year earlier. Read more at their website.


Discover your family on Ancestry.com with this amazing Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com

Dive into Ancestry.com! This updated and expanded guide will show you how to use Ancestry.com, including AncestryDNA. Full of Ancestry.com tips and strategies, this complete guidebook to Ancestry.com will help you find your ancestors’ records and build out your family tree on the no. 1 genealogy website. Get yours today!

What’s Inside

  • Timesaving tips for uncovering specific records, time periods and topics using Ancestry.com’s search forms and Card Catalog
  • Details on Ancestry.com’s historical record collections, including what you can expect to find in them
  • Step-by-step guides for creating and managing your family tree on Ancestry.com, plus how to connect with other users and utilize the site’s powerful Hint system
  • Plain-language strategies for using your AncestryDNA results, including guides to your ethnicity report and DNA matches

Related Products

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>