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Monday, December 02, 2019

Genealogical databases a goldmine for police

Orlando police detective Michael Fields was sure he had the break he needed right in front of him to close in on a serial rapist: a list of people whose DNA partially matched the man he hunted.

Then the list disappeared.

After a year of criticism from privacy advocates and genealogy experts, the owner of a popular DNA-sharing website had decided law enforcement had no right to consumer data unless those consumers agreed.

“It was devastating to know that there’s information out there,” Fields said. “It wasn’t fair.”

So he persuaded a judge to grant him access to the entire database, the genetic records of more than 1 million people who never agreed to a police search. It was the first court order in the nation for a blanket consumer DNA search, kept secret from those whose genetic code was involuntarily canvassed.

Genealogical databases are a potential gold mine for police detectives trying to solve difficult cases.

But law enforcement has plunged into this new world with little to no rules or oversight, intense secrecy and by forming unusual alliances with private companies that collect the DNA, often from people interested not in helping close cold cases but learning their ethnic origins and ancestry.

More here


Anonymous said...

What a can of worms, but its coming and of course its all for the children!!

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever (1984)

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.(bible)

Anonymous said...

Someone should hunt that judge down. This is unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

I paid a lot of money to Ancestry DNA and had I known others would be snooping around my privacy I wouldn't have participated. It's time for a revolution in this country.

Patriot said...


I agree, however there are too many PUSSY CATS in America , and some have condemned us for owning guns

Anonymous said...

Excellent, good job police.