As the concerns for DNA at-home tests privacy continue to rise, one criminal case in Florida is drawing attention to lack of privacy yet again.
A Florida detective recently revealed he had obtained a warrant from a local judge to search the GEDmatch database of over one million profiles in order to solve his case. This appears to be the first record of a judge approving such a warrant. Such development could have profound implications for genetic privacy.
DNA policy experts suspect the development was likely to embolden similar search warrants from 23andMe, which has 10 million users, and Ancestry.com, which has 15 million.
“That’s a huge game-changer,” said Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University. “[GEDmatch] made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that’s been overridden by a court. It’s a signal that no genetic information can be safe.”
The two most popular at-home DNA test companies, Ancestry.com and 23andMe, assure their consumers they will keep DNA off-limits to forensics. But this judicial overturning clearly says otherwise.
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