A lot of people have participated in the various DNA testing companies. However, in true American form, the data collected that was promised would be ‘secure’ is not actually secure and will be given away to whoever, but will be used and abused by police and government as well as companies for all kinds of sinister purposes of power and control. One of these new abuses that is emerging is how DNA companies are using the DNA collected from millions of people to now try an match DNA from crime scenes to people in these databases.
While some may laud this, it is an extremely dangerous development that threatens what little is left of privacy or the judicial process.
Thankfully, at least for now, Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company, refused to comply with a search warrant from police to open their database to police search.
Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company in the world, was served a search warrant to give police access to its database of some 16 million DNA profiles, but the company did not comply.
“Ancestry received one request seeking access to Ancestry’s DNA database through a search warrant,” the company revealed in its 2019 transparency report released last week. “Ancestry challenged the warrant on jurisdictional grounds and did not provide any customer data in response.”
The warrant came from a court in Pennsylvania, the company told BuzzFeed News by email, adding: “The warrant was improperly served on Ancestry and we did not provide any access or customer data in response. Ancestry has not received any follow up from law enforcement on this matter.”
For months, legal experts who follow investigative genetic genealogy have expected search warrants to be issued to Ancestry and its main competitor, 23andMe, which has about 10 million DNA profiles in its database. Both companies have publicly vowed to defend their customers’ genetic privacy, and say they will fight efforts to open up their databases to searches by police.
Investigative genetic genealogy is a new method used to solve crimes. It involves searching for genetic profiles that partially match DNA from crime scenes and then building family trees from these relatives to find a suspect. Until now, only two databases used by genealogy enthusiasts to research their family histories — GEDmatch, originally set up by hobbyists but now owned by the forensic genetics company Verogen, and the database run by FamilyTreeDNA — have been open to search requests from police. (source)