(Dick Eastman’s Daily Newsletter – October 16, 2015)
This news surely will spawn court cases involving privacy and Constitutional provisions regarding self-incrimination. According a story by Kashmir Hill in the Fusion.net web site, “‘Your relative’s DNA could turn you into a suspect,’ warns Wired, writing about a case from earlier this year, in which New Orleans filmmaker Michael Usry became a suspect in an unsolved murder case after cops did a familial genetic search using semen collected in 1996. The cops searched an Ancestry.com database and got a familial match to a saliva sample Usry’s father had given years earlier. Usry was ultimately determined to be innocent and the Electronic Frontier Foundation called it a ‘wild goose chase’ that demonstrated “the very real threats to privacy and civil liberties posed by law enforcement access to private genetic databases.”
Both Ancestry.com and 23andMe stipulate in their privacy policies that they will turn information over to law enforcement if served with a court order.