instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Genetic Linkage

DNA for the greater good: Should the police have access to consumer DNA databases?

 In the spring of 2018, the capture of the Golden State Killer using a consumer DNA database catapulted the issue of genetic privacy into the headlines. A year later, a second case has pushed genetic privacy to the precipice of a slippery slope as the mothership of DNA databases involved in both cases, GEDmatch, has changed its Terms of Service to give users more control over accessibility of their data to law enforcement.

 

But will increased privacy control slow the momentum in using DNA to catch criminals? The new forensic technology is cracking a case a week now, turning cold cases red hot.

 

The FBI works with genetic genealogists at Parabon NanoLabs, which for many cases uses GEDmatch, which is free. These experts combine DNA information with traditional resources like historical accounts, diaries, and census data to identify individuals.

 

The Utah case

 

This spring's flashpoint centered on use of GEDmatch to break an assault case in Utah. Up until then, the 55 crimes that Parabon Nanolabs had solved using DNA data had all been sexual assault or murder.

 

To continue reading, go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this post first appeared.

 

Be the first to comment

Genetic Privacy and the Case of the Golden State Killer - Diving Into the Science

The alleged Golden State Killer -- caught with a familial clue from an ancestry DNA database.
Consumer DNA testing companies are rushing to reassure customers about the security of their genetic information following news that DNA data from a genealogy website was used by police to arrest the man they believe is the Golden State Killer, responsible for at least 12 murders and more than 50 rapes from 1976 to 1986.

But are DNA data ever really private? Read More 
Be the first to comment