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Police were cracking cold cases with a DNA website. Then the fine print changed.

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posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 11:04 AM
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In April 2018, California authorities revealed that they'd used a novel investigative technique to arrest a man they called the Golden State Killer, a serial murderer who'd escaped capture for decades.

For the first time, police had submitted DNA from a crime scene into a consumer DNA database, where information about distant relatives helped them identify a suspect.

The announcement kindled a revolution in forensics that has since helped solve more than 50 rapes and homicides in 29 states.


Looks like the website - GEDmatch - is no longer allowing law enforcement to peruse it's database.

There are a few different competing issues at play here: The company/website GEDmatch is trying to be responsive to its user base, while law enforcement is saying that a great new avenue of investigation is now being closed off or curtailed.

I definitely see both sides of this one. I guess it boils down to what's more important to you: the right to privacy or the rights of law enforcement to use every tool available to them to catch the bad guys.

More here:

Cracking Cold Cases with DNA




posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 11:06 AM
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I will never give up my DNA..just because!



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 11:12 AM
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I would say you could try and do an opt-in process for those that would want their data used, but you can't give that consent for everyone that may be involved in your DNA makeup. So I would go with privacy.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 11:22 AM
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The problem I see with this is that we're cheering this because they are solving crimes which were (in fact) horrible crimes.

The downside is this technology is flexible. If we're using it to solve rapes and murders, that's obviously a good thing. But what if (at some future date) unjust laws are passed by a more totalitarian government and it becomes all but impossible to resist because resistance is against the law and the authorities can use this technology maliciously to enforce absolute compliance?

Not that there's anything we can do to prevent that at this point. But it's a sobering thought.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 11:28 AM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders
The problem I see with this is that we're cheering this because they are solving crimes which were (in fact) horrible crimes.

The downside is this technology is flexible. If we're using it to solve rapes and murders, that's obviously a good thing. But what if (at some future date) unjust laws are passed by a more totalitarian government and it becomes all but impossible to resist because resistance is against the law and the authorities can use this technology maliciously to enforce absolute compliance?

Not that there's anything we can do to prevent that at this point. But it's a sobering thought.


All valid points. My concern is more insidious. Much like ID theft, I could see a version of criminal ID theft where people are falsely accused by having their DNA information hacked and assigned to a crime. Because the courts seem to assume DNA to be infallable, there would be no way to defend yourself.

Think about it. Your DNA data is falsely tied to some rape crime. It becomes and open and shut case. How do you defend yourself? Imagine the CIA / NSA or some other nefarious group using this to get rid of political opponents.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:24 PM
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a reply to: vonclod

Doesn't matter. Over 2% of the USA has already given it up, meaning they can find you already because of relatives.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:36 PM
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originally posted by: Hypntick
I would say you could try and do an opt-in process for those that would want their data used, but you can't give that consent for everyone that may be involved in your DNA makeup. So I would go with privacy.


I think that's what they're doing now. An article I read said there is an icon with a shield on the website that if you click it, now allows you allows you to opt in, but the default is opt out for its user base.

For some reason, I don't think many people are going to opt-in because...well, it's their DNA...and there doesn't seem to be any benefit except an altruistic one.

Guess we'll have to see how this plays out over time.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Especially if the crime is 20 to 40 years old. How would you even try to determine what you were doing on say May 1 1992. Much less prove in a court of law what you were doing on that day.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:44 PM
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One Billion dollar lawsuit ought to stop this madness.

Someone needs to sue a Family member AND the Company involved for illegally providing famalial genetic material ….. that's right an entire Family has to authorise the public disclosure of any type of genetic data and law enforcement should never be allowed to illegally or questionably try to get acess to this data.

They can make the perpetrators DNA AVAILABLE SO PEOPLE CAN CECK THEIR OWN fAMILIES FOR CRIMINALS.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: one4all

too late once they have a DNA sample it can be reproduced

they can put anyones DNA anywhere they want to already..


they can have all of mine they want, I'm old, rich, and have no children..



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:55 PM
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I don't know why the Cops would need a warrant to use DNA from a scene to accumulate ancestry data then use that data on ancestry to find relatives. Maybe they can't use it in court but they could use it to narrow down the search somewhat. Remember, a guy can father children from many woman before that guy settles down and has legitimate kids with a woman. I keep wondering if someday a son or another daughter may pop up on my ancestry relatives section.

The cops can narrow the search but then would need a warrant to check the DNA of the person they are investigating.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Riffrafter

This does pose a serious fourth amendment issue. Police should not be allowed to throw a broad fishing net out there and we what they can drag up. The there are also big questions regarding chain of custodians consent of people who were entered into a database by family members in paternity cases.

What would happen if family services started using these databases to track down absentee fathers who never even knew they had kids, or to track down sperm donor for kids whose parents couldn't look after them any more.

You could wake up one day and find that family services were demanding that you look after a grandchild from a child that you never knew you had from a relationship that consisted of a drunken hookup in the 1980s that you can't even remember.
edit on 24-10-2019 by AaarghZombies because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 12:59 PM
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originally posted by: thedigirati
a reply to: one4all

too late once they have a DNA sample it can be reproduced

they can put anyones DNA anywhere they want to already..


they can have all of mine they want, I'm old, rich, and have no children..



I fear you are absolutely correct.

LOL....well I an old ,poor,and have no children(money poor because I helped a couple youngsters that carry someone elses DNA catch a better than even break in this wicked wicked world,heart rich because they are doing well),but I am a multiple Abductee so "they" already have mine. Who knows where that little surprise might show up considering the circumstances.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

That's is basically what happened in the GSK case. They figured out who to investigate by finding partial matches in relatives.

They still needed at a point to get his DNA to conform he was the person. His DNA wasn't there.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:03 PM
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The data in the DB was not illegally collected. People placed it there. Whether there was a promise of privacy is another issue. Seems as though there was not.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:16 PM
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originally posted by: roadgravel
a reply to: rickymouse

That's is basically what happened in the GSK case. They figured out who to investigate by finding partial matches in relatives.

They still needed at a point to get his DNA to conform he was the person. His DNA wasn't there.


I informed my close relatives that I was getting my DNA done. We are not thieves or killers so are not afraid of having our DNA out there. Many other relatives have now done DNA testing, we are not problematic people, we have little to worry about. My grandkids know that there DNA can lead to them getting caught if they do anything really bad, so that kind of forces them to think about what they are doing and might help to persuade them from doing bad stuff. It might keep your kids from doing things because they have an increased chance of getting caught.

Isn't it better to dissuade someone becoming a criminal rather than protecting them after they do a crime?
edit on 24-10-2019 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:30 PM
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You're giving up your DNA all the time and there's nothing you can do about it.

a reply to: vonclod



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse

originally posted by: roadgravel
a reply to: rickymouse

That's is basically what happened in the GSK case. They figured out who to investigate by finding partial matches in relatives.

They still needed at a point to get his DNA to conform he was the person. His DNA wasn't there.


I informed my close relatives that I was getting my DNA done. We are not thieves or killers so are not afraid of having our DNA out there. Many other relatives have now done DNA testing, we are not problematic people, we have little to worry about. My grandkids know that there DNA can lead to them getting caught if they do anything really bad, so that kind of forces them to think about what they are doing and might help to persuade them from doing bad stuff. It might keep your kids from doing things because they have an increased chance of getting caught.

Isn't it better to dissuade someone becoming a criminal rather than protecting them after they do a crime?


It might be a better idea to ask the Great Great Grandchildren you will likely never see EXACTLY HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT YOU OR SOME OTHER FAMILY CLOWN GIVING THEIR PERSONAL DNA PROFILE TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN...….they do get a say in all of this PRESUPTIOUS behaviour that concerns their DNA don't they?....you are giving away a right to privacy they own but have not yet been able to experience....ARE YOU NOT?



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:37 PM
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originally posted by: one4all

originally posted by: rickymouse

originally posted by: roadgravel
a reply to: rickymouse

That's is basically what happened in the GSK case. They figured out who to investigate by finding partial matches in relatives.

They still needed at a point to get his DNA to conform he was the person. His DNA wasn't there.


I informed my close relatives that I was getting my DNA done. We are not thieves or killers so are not afraid of having our DNA out there. Many other relatives have now done DNA testing, we are not problematic people, we have little to worry about. My grandkids know that there DNA can lead to them getting caught if they do anything really bad, so that kind of forces them to think about what they are doing and might help to persuade them from doing bad stuff. It might keep your kids from doing things because they have an increased chance of getting caught.

Isn't it better to dissuade someone becoming a criminal rather than protecting them after they do a crime?


It might be a better idea to ask the Great Great Grandchildren you will likely never see EXACTLY HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT YOU OR SOME OTHER FAMILY CLOWN GIVING THEIR PERSONAL DNA PROFILE TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN...….they do get a say in all of this PRESUPTIOUS behaviour that concerns their DNA don't they?....you are giving away a right to privacy they own but have not yet been able to experience....ARE YOU NOT?



All of my grandkids have their own DNA done, my daughter wanted them all done for identification purposes and to prove they are legal Americans, my daughter is a full citizen, my son-in law is an immigrant resident alien.



posted on Oct, 24 2019 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

I should have been more generic in my earlier post....I was not referring to you directly....but to the general idea of people giving away the right to genetic privacy we are all born with....the unborn are proxy genetic stakeholders and require a voice. I now see there are many reasons these tests come in handy....and I hope the results are well protected by privacy laws.



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