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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:28PM   Printer-friendly
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 , 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.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:32PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:32PM (#946845) Journal

    It has always been true that if you were descended from royalty, or a billionaire, you got a light sentence. If you're the son of a sharecropper, not so much. If you're the son of a convict, you're screwed. All this does, is widen the search for billionaires, sharecroppers, and convicts.

    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:36PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:36PM (#946847) Journal

    I just looked. Aristarchus is a 48th cousin by marriage on my mother's side of the family! I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE MATERNAL SIDE!!!!

    • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:49PM

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:49PM (#947009)

      Being into DNA homeopathy much, eh? You two can get close arguing about the 2^-17 base pairs you share.