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DNA Testing and Law Enforcement Access to DNA Databases #DNA

Jan Meisels Allen
 

There has been much in the press about the recent disclosure that a Florida judge provided a warrant for law enforcement to search an entire voluntary  DNA genealogy database (GEDMatch) to help solve a violent crime.  That is different than the private DNA testing companies. The DNA testing companies state they are protecting your data and will fight even warrants, with FamilyTree DNA offering an opt-out option. According to a Baylor University Study, the majority of people -90 percent- favored police access to consumer DNA when it comes to murder cases. Rape is also considered a violent crime.  Non-violent crimes faired about 34 percent of people in favor of police wanting the names of account holders.  The privacy wonks are opposed to the warrant that was issued in Florida saying it was too broad, and are concerned it may be emulated elsewhere.  The Los Angeles Times  published an article on the issue today. See:  https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-11-24/law-enforcement-dna-crime-cases-privacy

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee