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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: 4, Insightful) by bart on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:58PM (2 children)

    by bart (2844) on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:58PM (#946854)

    "the land of the free", yeah right.

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  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @04:23PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @04:23PM (#946864)

    Yes, we should look to somewhere like the Continent for moral guidance on genetics issues. Specifically Europe. Hmm, "European genetics" is quite a mouthful. Perhaps we should contract it down to something easier to say, like EU-genetics or something.

    Damn, that sounds familiar. Now where have I heard that before ? ? ?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:02PM (#946982)

      From the Society of Biodemography and Social Biology? Formerly known as the Society for the Study of Social Biology... and the American Eugenics Society?

      Europe is not clean, but so is the U.S.. But at least we know a little bit about history...