from the 60%-likely-is-40%-unlikely dept.
How similar do you think you are to your second cousin? Or your estranged great aunt?
Would you like to have people assess your behaviour from what your great aunt has done? How would you feel if courts used data gained from them to decide how you are likely to behave in the future?
Scientists are making connections between a person's DNA and their tendencies for certain kinds of behaviour. At the same time, commercial DNA databases are becoming more common and police are gaining access to them.
When these trends combine, genetic data inferred about offenders from their relatives might one day be used by courts to determine sentences. In the future, the data from your great aunt could be used by a court to determine how severely you are punished for a crime.
[...] A Florida judge recently approved a warrant to search a genetic genealogy database, GED Match. This American company has approximately 1.3 million users who have uploaded their personal genetic data, with the assumption of privacy, in the hope of discovering their family tree.
The court directly overruled these users' request for privacy and now the company is obliged to hand over the data.
[...] This might be used by the prosecution to make the case for a longer sentence. In some jurisdictions and circumstances, the prosecution may have a means of obtaining a sample of DNA directly from the offender. But where this is not legally possible without the offender's consent, the inference from relatives might fill a gap in the prosecution's case about how dangerous the offender is.
Your ability to be granted bail may hinge on your genes.
Two major world powers, the United States and China, have both collected an enormous number of DNA samples from their citizens, the premise being that these samples will help solve crimes that might have otherwise gone unsolved. While DNA evidence can often be crucial when it comes to determining who committed a crime, researchers argue these DNA databases also pose a major threat to human rights.
In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that currently contains over 14 million DNA profiles. This database has a disproportionately high number of profiles of black men, because black Americans are arrested five times as much as white Americans. You don't even have to be convicted of a crime for law enforcement to take and store your DNA; you simply have to have been arrested as a suspect.
[...] As for China, a report that was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in mid-June claims that China is operating the "world's largest police-run DNA database" as part of its powerful surveillance state. Chinese authorities have collected DNA samples from possibly as many as 70 million men since 2017, and the total database is believed to contain as many as 140 million profiles. The country hopes to collect DNA from all of its male citizens, as it argues men are most likely to commit crimes.
DNA is reportedly often collected during what are represented as free physicals, and it's also being collected from children at schools. There are reports of Chinese citizens being threatened with punishment by government officials if they refuse to give a DNA sample. Much of the DNA that's been collected has been from Uighur Muslims that have been oppressed by the Chinese government and infamously forced into concentration camps in the Xinjiang province.
EFF to Supreme Court: The Fourth Amendment Covers DNA Collection
EFF Sues Justice Dept. Over FBI's Rapid DNA Plans
Kuwait Creating Mandatory DNA Database of All Citizens, Residents--and Visitors
San Diego Police Department Accused of Unlawful DNA Collection From Minors
Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China
Study Predicts Appearance From Genome Sequence Data
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
Bavarian Law Broadens Police Surveillance and DNA Profiling Powers
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website
Public Ancestry Data Can be Used to Narrow Down the Identity Behind an Anonymous DNA Sample
Rapid DNA Analysis Machines Coming to Police Departments
FamilyTreeDNA Deputizes Itself, Starts Pitching DNA Matching Services To Law Enforcement
Genealogy Sites Have Helped Identify Suspects. Now They've Helped Convict One
U.S. to Collect DNA of All Undocumented Migrants
US Court Let Police Search GEDmatch's Entire DNA Database Despite Protections
China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West
Cousin Took a DNA Test? Courts Could Use it to Argue You are More Likely to Commit Crimes
Ancestry Says Police Requested Access To Its DNA Database