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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: 2) by EJ on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:03PM (1 child)

    by EJ (2452) on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:03PM (#946951)

    Until you get a warrant to test MY DNA, you can't prove that person is my biological cousin. For all you know, I could have been switched at birth in the hospital, and I have no biological relationship to my cousin.

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  • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Friday January 24 2020, @10:34AM

    by Common Joe (33) <> on Friday January 24 2020, @10:34AM (#947891) Journal

    You missed the point. Let's assume legitimate use for this and ignore the other ugly stuff.

    They know that a crime has been committed. DNA was at the scene. Five people are cousins to this potential criminal. They go and look at the family relationships in the nice big database cobbled together by Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Oh... there are two potential people. It can only be one of these two people. They get a warrant and do a DNA test on both. Potential criminal found, detained, and questioned in a legal way... or not because of a hospital mix up. The fact is, they can (or will?) force you to get a DNA test via a warrant. That's if they are playing by the rules.