Thursday, 11 October 2018

How do you feel about the use of your DNA for non-genealogical purposes?

Maurice Gleeson has posted a survey to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland group. The survey was introduced by:

The Golden State Killer case revealed how DNA & Genealogy Combined can potentially be used to identify serial rapists and serial killers. US Law Enforcement Agencies used DNA & genealogical data supplied by genealogists (publicly available on Gedmatch) to generate an investigational lead to a possible suspect. They then used routine police procedures to acquire a “discarded DNA sample” from the suspect in question and established that his DNA matched DNA found at the crime scenes. The suspect was subsequently arrested, further confirmatory forensic DNA testing was done (and chain of custody established), and he currently awaits trial.
Perhaps you'd like to add your input, even if you're not Irish. Maurice is OK with this. There is a question where you could self-identify as Canadian.

The survey would have been even more valuable if it also had questions related to some of the possible downsides of DNA testing. For example:

1. Are you concerned about the possibility that you or a relative might suffer discrimination in obtaining insurance or a job based on DNA test results?
2. Does the possibility of discovering suppressed aspects of your family history, such as non-paternity, adoption or half-siblings, worry you?
3. Are you concerned that an authoritarian regime might use results of a DNA test as a basis for discrimination?

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