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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday April 03 2019, @11:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the privacy-policies-are-for-suckers dept.

Submitted via IRC for chromas

FamilyTreeDNA Deputizes Itself, Starts Pitching DNA Matching Services To Law Enforcement

One DNA-matching company has decided it's going to corner an under-served market: US law enforcement. FamilyTreeDNA -- last seen here opening up its database to the FBI without informing its users first -- is actively pitching its services to law enforcement.

The television spot, to air in San Diego first, asks anyone who has had a direct-to-consumer DNA test from another company, like 23andMe or Ancestry.com, to upload a copy so that law enforcement can spot any connections to DNA found at crime scenes.

The advertisement features Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, a Salt Lake City teen who was abducted in 2002 but later found alive. “If you are one of the millions of people who have taken a DNA test, your help can provide the missing link,” he says in the spot.

Welcome to FamilyTreeDNA's cooperating witness program -- one it profits from by selling information customers give it to law enforcement. The tug at the heartstrings is a nice touch. FamilyTreeDNA is finally being upfront with users about its intentions for their DNA samples. This is due to its founder deciding -- without consulting his customers -- that they're all as willing as he is to convert your DNA samples into public goods.

Bennett Greenspan, the firm’s founder, said he had decided he had a moral obligation to help solve old murders and rapes. Now he thinks that customers will agree and make their DNA available specifically to help out.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday April 04 2019, @02:09AM (1 child)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Thursday April 04 2019, @02:09AM (#824333) Journal

    And by the way, I myself had no idea how far this stuff had progressed (despite headlines about the Golden State Killer last year) until I listened to the Bear Brook podcast [bearbrookpodcast.com] a few months ago. Absolutely crazy story about a cold case I had heard of years ago, which was finally solved. There's a lot in the later episodes about forensic genealogy and how it has advanced in leaps and bounds just in the past five years or so. Truly scary stuff to contemplate from a privacy standpoint.

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  • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Thursday April 04 2019, @02:56AM

    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Thursday April 04 2019, @02:56AM (#824347)

    Yeah, it's progressed so far Wal-Mart can do it for you....along with a full on medical diagnosis! All in just 24 hours!

    https://ifunny.co/picture/walmart-installed-a-medical-kiosk-for-10-and-a-urine-FuHgAw0Q6 [ifunny.co]
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    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If you took me seriously, you didn't notice my username....and I'm not sorry...

    --
    Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.