Genetic detectives

Today: Part I in the NYT podcast “The Daily”, using genetic genealogy to solve crimes. How a cold case made GEDMatch change its policies.

Related article on genetic privacy linked in show notes.

Thanks for sharing. This is the kind of happy ending story that law enforcement could use to argue for the use of DNA databases to track down criminals or long lost family members. It’s interesting that Curtis Rogers who owns/built GEDMatch briefly questioned this breach of privacy when he handed over the data to law enforcement, but seemed to be okay with it after all the accolades and good feelings. I would have liked to see more focus on this as a privacy issue, but do appreciate that the story mentions a group of brothers that refused to be tested as a DNA match. Those are the sides of these stories that more people need to hear.

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I just listened to it this morning, and it was great. My father’s sister uploaded all the family data into these sites,:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: so this line totally stuck with me:

There’s no more genetic privacy. It’s done.

I love these kinds of podcasts where your feelings change as the story is told. I started out totally against genetic databases, but then I was in favor of tools for solving cold cases, but then was horrified about the possibility of incorrect prosecutions and jazzed about the prospect for racial equality in crime databases, and then just a little bit hopeful that in the midst of this chaos, perhaps the fourth amendment will protect our privacy.