15 November 2018

How do you feel about your DNA being used by the police? - the results of a survey

On 11 October I posted How do you feel about the use of your DNA for non-genealogical purposes? publicizing a survey being conducted by Maurice Gleeson. That post was viewed 311 times.

The results of Maurice's survey were posted on his blog here on Wednesday. They are fairly consistent with those of a previous survey he references. 85% of people were "reasonably comfortable" with the use of their DNA results by law enforcement agencies (for catching serial rapists and killers).

In my October post I commented that 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?

I note these same issues were also mentioned in comments posted with the survey results.

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