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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, 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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04 2019, @08:58AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04 2019, @08:58AM (#824401)

    I think part of the concern here is that the police will make DNA screening a de facto standard practice. Once it becomes "normal" they can arrest you for <insert something minor or fabricated here> and then submit your DNA for testing to see if you have enough markers to make you a suspect or related to a suspect.

    I don't think we're too many years away from developing the technology for a DNA-alyzer that can become part of every traffic stop. "License, registration, insurance and sample please." Once SCOUTS decides that DNA is no different from fingerprints, some industrious company that utilizes a shit ton of AWS servers will provide a cloud-based real-time DNA matching service that they will sell to every LEA imaginable.

  • (Score: 2) by Muad'Dave on Thursday April 04 2019, @11:24AM (1 child)

    by Muad'Dave (1413) on Thursday April 04 2019, @11:24AM (#824426)

    > SCOUTS

    Supreme Court of United The States?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04 2019, @01:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04 2019, @01:15PM (#824463)

      Yes. That decision will eventually happen.