For example, this is from the AncestryDNA (different company) terms of service:
By submitting User Provided Content to AncestryDNA, you grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license to host, transfer, process, analyze, distribute, communicate, and display your submission for the purposes of providing Ancestry's products and services, conducting Ancestry’s research and product development, enhancing Ancestry’s user experience, and making and offering personalized products and services.
There's a feel-good statement elsewhere in the document about how the company won't disclose your info to third parties, but this grant of rights pretty much covers anything you'd want to do with a DNA sequence.
Privacy policies change, but grants of rights like this to a service like Ancestry are forever.
I imagine a future in which every casual DNA company has been hoovered into a single powerful corporation. All those rights granted by users will transfer to that new company. That company will be just as mean as Facebook (or Microsoft in its heyday), but 10x more powerful.
That's how a local cold murder case was solved last year.
DNA from a 25-year-old crime scene was run against the samples in one of these genealogy databases, and they found a familial match. Police set up a sting to covertly collect DNA from that person's immediate family. They got their DNA match with a brother's water bottle police took from a trash can after he worked a DJ gig at a school.
The now-confessed killer was the DJ at my wedding. He never would have been caught if his brother hadn't done one of these genealogy tests. He wasn't even a suspect in the initial investigation.
I am sure your case was above board but, being born in a totalitarian state, I do not trust law enforcement too much and prefer to err on the side of not solving some crimes. My 2c.
So my solution is to avoid attracting any attention in meatspace. Not doing anything that could generate troublesome records. Such as leaving DNA around. I mean, I certainly leave DNA around, when I go out for stuff. But there's nothing involved that I need to hide.
I also make no effort to hide anything that I do online as my meatspace persona. Because that would attract attention. I do use a VPN service, but that's not at all unusual where I live. And I do torrent some, even when I'm not really after anything. Just as cover.
Anything potentially troublesome, I do via nested VPN chains and Tor. Mirimir just uses nested VPN chains. But then Mirimir just writes about stuff, so hey.
Off to google the term “meatspace” now.
And then Terry Bisson's "They're Made Out of Meat", published in 1990:
> "They're made out of meat."
> "Meat. They're made out of meat."
> "There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
So yeah, it's a term that we old geeks use.
Recent usage by John Markoff:
> "True Names" by Vernor Vinge (1981): "The basic premise of that was, you had to basically hide your true name at all costs. It was an insight into the world we’re living in today … We have to figure it out. I think we have to go to pseudonymity or something. You’re gonna participate in this networked existence, you have to be connected to meatspace in some way."
And yes, we "have to go to pseudonymity or something". If we care about privacy, anyway.
Goes back to the earliest days of online existence, to distinguish the two.
I’d like to subscribe to your RSS feed of magnet: links.
I am afraid it could cause wrongful convictions as well. Let's say there is a 1 in a million chance of a false positive, if you have an enormous database there is a large probability of a false positive even though your individual risk is low. As far as I understand DNA evidence is often damaged or incomplete, meaning this could be a serious risk.
If ratio of solved crimes is not high enough -- society tolerates wrongful convictions -- because without risking wrongful convictions it is hard to make any convictions at all.
Because DNA testing increases the ratio of solved crimes, it decreases the chances of wrongful convictions.
"The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person." 
Oh wow. Really??? Any experts in this field reading this? Would love to hear someone with pertinent authority tell us this isn't true. (Please don't be true)
Genotyping works as follows: there are thousands of regions of “junk” dna in the human genome that don’t code for anything. There is no evolutionary pressure to preserve the exact length of these regions. (They probably help the chromosomes fold up in ways that encourage/suppress the activity of certain genes, help the molecule be more robust, etc).
Since there is no evolutionary pressure to preserve the regions, they tend to be full of hard to copy junk like ATAT..... that tends to change every few generations.
Genotyping works by isolating a bunch of these regions, and using PCR to create millions of copies of each region (with ~one sample per region).
Finally, you put a drop of the each sample and some die on a electrophoresis gel, and apply some current. Different sized molecules move at different rates, so this gives you a crude measurement of the length of each molecule.
To fake a match, all you need to do is produce something that will trick the first step of all this into grabbing molecules of your choice of length, which will fool the rest of the process. If you want to see how that would work, read up on “pcr primers”.
Source: I used to work in a genotyping/sequencing lab as a bioinformatician, and worked on algorithms that did exactly this sort of analysis (not the forgery bit though).
So you could fake everything. Video surveillance, DNA samples, testimony from dishonest informers and investigators, etc. This is just a tweak to parallel construction. And outright framing.
Instead CSI has taught your average juror that it is irrefutable proof of guilt.
Don't underestimate DNA transfer. Your DNA can end up in locations you have never been:
If you're already a "convenient suspect" the police wish to build a case against, they don't need to find you on a consumer genetics database to be able to obtain a sample of your DNA or strongly hint that they expect to be able to use DNA evidence (truthfully or otherwise) to send you away for a very long time if you're not willing to consider moving to plea bargaining territory.
Consider a public bathroom: how much DNA is at that location? How much is relevant to the event?
Consider a corrupt lab tech: The DNA at the event might be reported as DNA from their database. Does a defense attorney get to see the untainted sample?
Consider a corrupt/hacked DNA database: The database might report that the DNA belongs to one individual when it actually doesn't. Does a defense attorney even get to see the source code?
In these scenarios, the link to any individual is either of little consequence, or fraudulent.
What if it's something we can't quite agree on, or tyranny of the majority? Joe McCarthy happened once, and he didn't give a shit about ex post facto. Presuming someone like him will never come along again is a road to pain and suffering.
Spend ten minutes reading about what Crypto-Judaism is and why it is even a thing. Then look at abuse of power (I've known 2 people who have had LEOs as stalkers). A big part of warrant law is the premise that you don't give people information they don't need 'just because'. Very similar to the computing concept of Principle of Least Power. They prove they need it, you give it to them, but not a moment before, because who knows what they'll get up to.
What's an LEO? My first thought is Low Earth Orbit, but obviously that's not right. Googling "leo" and "leo stalker" doesn't bring up much apart from horoscopes.
Likewise we should develop principles for information which when combined with other information can be used to transgress against 3rd parties' enjoyment of their own privacy.
DNA cannot be thought of any other way whilst we continue to use it for personal identification.
We don't have another mechanism for protecting something uniquely identifying from tyranny.
Perhaps we should, especially as in this case others privacy may be co-dependent on myself, as you noted.
For instance, there's no need to get a warrant to follow you around and pick up something that you discard and then examine that object for DNA.
DNA is also shared, however. A relative can currently choose to reveal private information in their DNA that also reveals information that you consider private in your DNA. This is the way in which DNA has a shared or commons aspect.
My point is that the shared nature of DNA means we have to look outside of individual actions to preserve the privacy rights that many seem to want preserved. In other words, I shouldn't be able to use my DNA to reveal private information about anyone else.
That Dropcam stream Google flagged your facial fingerprint on...not so much.
Music for example. The same poool of musical notes in 100% of compositions. Just arranged in different ways, like DNA
FWIW I can see where he was coming from.
Lol, what planet do you live on? Sounds dope.
The battles to price externalities into markets here on Earth are all hard fought. By default if you can’t see it you don’t pay for it. Anything beyond that needs to be pounded out in the political ring.
It’s incredibly empowering for abuse and completely disrespectful to the individual. The assymetry is staggering.
My understanding is they asked everyone they could find in a specific ethnic community if they would volunteer a sample for a kind of dna dragnet.
The killer was related to one of the many people sampled.
That is a bit morbid.
Some links I've seen for DIY thermocycling
Hope this becomes more of a thing. This is one of the fields where a non-cloud or decentralized solution is more desirable.
Anyway, I wonder if people would be skeptical of the company's motives to the point where they don't want to give up their data or if they'd still just really want that cool DNA sequence art and to have a laugh about having 7% unexpected DNA.
Can a lawyer answer whether or not such promises apply to an acquiring company, should they ever be sold?
This only encourages me. My DNA is on record in various places, and if any relative of mine commits a crime I want the honor of being the person who fucked them and sent them to prison. I would tout the event as an esteemed accomplishment.
Everyone seems to be worried about a sci-fi movie where clones are made from cheek swabs or corporations use DNA to deny certain services.
The former is a pipe dream and the latter is already (partially) illegal in the US via the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
If evilmegacorp is going to break the law today then they'll break it tomorrow as well.
Every conceivable scenario in which DNA can be used to harm an individual can be answered with "well a bad actor can already do that today using different methods".
As far as I'm concerned a database of DNA is no different than a database of mugshots or fingerprints.
Mugshots and fingerprints have both led to false-positives being reported.
"Oh but DNA might lead to a false-positive so it must never be used" differs little from "eyewitness testimony, mugshots, fingerprint analysis, confessions, and every single investigative technique ever used in the history of humanity has unassailably led to false positives therefore they should all be banned".
I’m worried about getting deported to Saudi Arabia (never been) because I drank alcohol in my home country, but happen to stopover in a country that yields to large cash payments to enforce its extra-territorial laws.
I ask because it would help us gauge how worried you are.
All based on one crude comparison between countries. But you don't see the USA arresting too many people for violating other country's laws.
Anywho, even if I think I know I'm safe, a billionaire CFO with far more legal resources than I could dream of has been wrong.
Or you can't get a job because you're closely related to a felon.
Or a loan because you are closely related to someone who filed for bankruptcy.
I could go on. There's more "ors" here than on a viking raiding ship.
If there's a real link between genetics and bankruptcy, maybe we should figure that shit out (with the idea of doing pleasant, voluntary, educational interventions). If there isn't and banks use the info anyway, someone will make a good business out of ignoring the information.
Which isn't to say I approve of the privacy destroying business model these companies are trying to establish.
And is it true that homosexuality is banned throughout the east?
What’s the word for when you are ignorant of something your whole life and then you get enlightened and then immediately feel entitled to point out how much better you are than everyone else who is still ignorant? I feel like that’s what you’re doing here.
(To be clear, I have no problem with your point about homosexuality laws. I’m just objecting to your notion of what’s eastern and western. Seems like a lot of people think western=quintessential liberalism, eastern=Saudi Arabia, which is just xenophobic nonsense)
There's a fair amount of historical and current laws that have arguably zero moral good; Homophobic, Segregationist, etc.. all around the world.
But alas, There's you cheerily pointing out anyone you can help identify because, it's the law after all.
Just imagine if we had the technology to identify that through DNA samples.
My ancestors came to the USA after the Civil War, so _I_ have no real stake in this, but I married into a family from the midwest/south who has been in the US for many generations and I'm regularly floored when I hear people make claims about how the Civil War was actually about states' rights (to own human beings ...) and such. It seems like these people are still mostly concerned with trying to save face, as opposed to admitting that their forbears _royally_ screwed up and trying to learn and adapt from the episode.
Should law enforcement be prohibited from fingerprinting objects found at crime scenes?
Fingerprints lack scientific basis for legal certainty
More research into validity of fingerprint comparisons needed
October 5, 2017
Carnegie Mellon University
A new report on the quality of latent fingerprint analysis says that courtroom testimony and reports stating or even implying that fingerprints collected from a crime scene belong to a single person are indefensible and lack scientific foundation.
Fingerprinting to solve crimes: not as robust as you think
The main problem with fingerprint analysis is one consistent with many other areas of forensic science: subjectivity. Instead of relying on tested scientific methods, the process is mostly based on the subjective beliefs of the analyst... Despite this subjectivity, fingerprint analysts also typically testify in terms of absolute certainty.
Fingerprints: Not a Gold Standard
So to answer your question: Should law enforcement be prohibited from fingerprinting objects found at crime scenes?
You tell me.
Then there is the issue of transference. Person x dna found on housemate y's underwear... rape or shared washing machine?
As was seen on HN, consumer DNA tests are also inaccurate. In fact, up to 40% of gene variants on consumer DNA tests are false positives. False positives happen with criminal investigations and DNA testing. And now, consumer DNA databases are generating false positives that upend and potentially ruin innocent people's lives.
DNA tests are inaccurate.
Witness statements are inaccurate.
Confessions are inaccurate.
Thanks to deepfakes, video is inaccurate.
Someone steals your car, eyewitnesses claim they saw them in possession of it, their fingerprints are in it, their hair is in it, a gas station security camera recorded them in it, cops found them in it, and they confessed.
"Your honor that evidence is, in order, a stress-induced misrecognition, a flawed analysis, pseudoscience, tampered with, a setup, and coerced."
(a) Discrimination Based on Genetic Information.--It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer--
(1) to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the employees of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status of the employee as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee.
In the US, it is currently illegal for genetic information to be used as a qualification for employment.
Your DNA never changes. Once it's on record it's on record. This isn't like prohibition where as long as you quit before the law comes into effect you are safe.
If there is ever a future time you can be punished for your DNA, the only people who can possibly be 'grandfathered' in are the ones who've avoided submitting their DNA in the first place. Everyone else can be punished after the fact.
I don't support the point of view of the GP but in all fairness, if we come to the society where DNA is used for widespread discrimination, it will probably be semi-voluntarily collected from the majority of the citizens anyway (e.g. want to have a driver's license? submit the DNA)
Your putting the onus on me to prove that it was explicitly the results of my test that caused me not to be hired.
Best of luck.
This entire post read as if there's not dirty cops all over the US doing asset forfeiture, planting evidence, shooting innocents, raiding the wrong houses...why does anyone believe that giving those agents ANOTHER tool, and one that's seen in the general public as even more legitimate? (It's not the accuracy of the DNA match that's the problem, it's how easy it is to create false circumstances using someone's DNA, which is pretty easy to get.)
And all of this in a time when most of those same people (myself included) are decrying how horrible the federal government has recently become under Trump. Again, you want to give Trump and the people in his administration another tool for muddying the waters around his opponents?
Going even further, any of these genealogy companies could pull a full-on Cambridge Analytics like Facebook and just leak all our DNA to some private company operating on behalf of a foreign government.
Police don't really need to plant evidence when they are believed over defendants to begin with. Go listen to the latest season of the Series podcast. Or the Reply All episodes about the police in NYC.
If a corrupt cop wants to take you down, they don't need any of this.
That has been a crime in many places at various times in the past. The non-existence of a DNA database did nothing to prevent the existence of totalitarian governments, and would likely do nothing to promote them.
That's the thing about totalitarians. They don't care about the facts, if they want to get you they'll get you regardless of what the DNA says, in its absence they'll just come up with something else like the bumps found on your skull or distance between your eyes or the volume at which your voice has been measured praising the leader.
Why would a totalitarian system rely on DNA evidence when they can just go "our local comrade commissar has decreed that you are guilty and thus you are" and in regimes where there has to at least be a semblance of a show trial, they would just make up or cover up DNA-related findings to suit their whims.
Saying that DNA is dangerous because it may be used against someone in the future in some hypothetical situation is like saying "a list of person's names MUST NEVER be compiled because in the future a totalitarian leader may decide he doesn't like anyone whose name ends in a -ez or -stein."
Have a drivers license? Murderous regime will know where you live and come kill you.
Use the internet via an ISP? Murderous regime will know what you look at and come kill you.
> Use the internet via an ISP? Murderous regime will know what you look at and come kill you.
This is a legitimate concern for some, hence why things like Tor exist. We don't just throw our hands up in the air and go, "What can be done?" We acknowledge that risk exists and try to mitigate it.
After a few years, I would expect that code to run on the device that enumerates the DNA.
Perhaps a RasPi with a daughter card or USB device that reads the DNA, similar to blood sugar testers.
Why aren’t there companies out there doing this at a higher cost without the privacy implications? Just give the user their data and decoding software that is regularly updated with current information.
Seems like low end machines are about $100,000 so it seems like this would work? I would pay 3-4 times as much if I knew I controlled the results.
Even this one, which is the most extreme by so far:
> While the FBI does not have the ability to freely browse genetic profiles in the library
On the other hand, essentially all this does is provide law enforcement a means to potentially quickly identify violent criminals via physical traits as opposed to the contents of their mind such as forcing someone to unlock a phone which I am very against.
Assuming DNA technology is advanced enough to provide few false positives (which I am not sure it is) and prosecution is based on additional concrete evidence as well I think I am fine with this. I am not ok with this being accepted as all that is needed to bring charges but as a means to narrow the suspect pool.
If the company did not disclose this in massive font to potential customers ahead of time, then I do think this company should very quickly go out of business.
The slippery slope though is a near Gattaca situation where now law enforcement and government can screen people for genetics flaws and make hiring decisions etc. based on them. Private companies should absolutely have no access to this data unless it is for scientific research and highly anonymized and customers have agreed to allow it.
Go ahead and replace "law enforcement" with political group you don't like, and "violent criminals" for a group you do.
Sure, maybe not, but maybe so. It does happen.
Just as DNA can help you find who did a criminal act, it can track down who did a political act.
Resistances, opposition groups in some environments, etc.
When I read about the government having access to identification attributes of the general populace, I recall that a focal part of the Nazi attempts to eradicate European Jews was actually finding them. One theory for why Dutch Jews were killed at a higher rate than neighboring countries was that the government kept religious affiliation as part of its census information. IIRC, the Dutch resistance made a semi-successful attempt to destroy the records before they could be used. I can't find a direct reference to that particular event yet, hence my 'IIRC', but the general context is laid out in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_in_World_War_II.
I think the point here is that even if a government is being innocuous in its information gathering, what happens if the government is then occupied by a group that is entirely not innocuous? This can get much more subtle than genocide: for example healthcare groups using data to try to remove people with certain conditions from their rolls.
Or a life insurance corporation seeing that you have predisposition for heart disease, and refusing to provide services to you.
I don't get your example. It's a private company and has a right to decide what risks it should take...Unless there is a government control over life insurance rules - why would an insurance company risk losing money? It's the same as charging an 80 year old man higher premium than a 20 year old.
If we have perfect (or near-perfect) knowledge, what would insurers do? Well, they'd charge you for exactly how much you're going to cost, plus some administrative costs, plus some extra. At that point, everyone's better off not having insurance.
That's exactly what I meant, government should be that entity that helps those on the rough end of the stick. Riding on the misinformation of life insurance company is not a solution either
But this is the very and only concept of insurance: misinformation on misfortune...
Combine that against the reality that everyone commits 3 felonies a day.
That's the perfect tool for oppression. Do you really want the government to be too good at solving crimes?
Your point is a decent one, no need to exaggerate.
This is a compelling argument.
Western civilization requires warrants supported by probable cause, because history has proved the hard way that those are not the kind of people the state would be identifying if left to its own devices.
The risk with this sort of thing is you never know which way the political winds will blow.
Case in point, I thought we progressed to the point where concentration camps were inconceivable in America given our past history with them nationally and internationally. And yet here we are.
DNA transference, law enforcement access to large DNA databases, familial matching, and advances in extracting DNA from trace samples make for a scary combination. Lukis Anderson was damned lucky that the person who inadvertently transferred his DNA to a crime scene could be identified.
Is there an oracle that will tell you who committed the crime? No. But it seems odd to be OK with some forms of evidence that are even more unreliable than this, if your issue is about reliability.
Disclose what? The point of most of these services is that you are adding yourself to a searchable database where you can find relations. The FBI seems to be using the service for the explicit reason it exists.
I'm very uncomfortable with the thought that one of these services could hand over specific DNA information to groups that could be used to profile you (employers, insurance, etc) but this use case really shouldn't come as surprising. It seems like complaining that the FBI found you by searching for your name on Facebook.
People are putting their genetic information into a database in order to be searchable by their genetic information. If they have a problem with being searchable by their genetic information, then they shouldn't upload their genetic information into publicly searchable databases.
>The Family Tree database is free to access and can be used by anyone with a DNA profile to upload, not just paying customers.
>Officials at Family Tree said customers could decide to opt out of any familial matching, which would prevent their profiles from being searchable by the FBI. But by doing so, customers would also be unable to use one of the key features of the service: finding possible relatives through DNA testing.
>In December 2018, the company changed its terms of service to allow law enforcement to use the database to identify suspects of “a violent crime,” such as homicide or sexual assault, and to identify the remains of a victim.
>In a statement, Greenspan, the president and founder of Gene by Gene, Family Tree’s parent company, said the firm would not be violating its terms of privacy to its customers, despite the FBI’s access.
>“We came to the conclusion that if law enforcement created accounts, with the same level of access to the database as the standard FamilyTreeDNA user, they would not be violating user privacy and confidentiality,” Greenspan said.
>In a statement, company officials told BuzzFeed News that despite the FBI’s access to the database, agents would not be able to obtain more information than what is accessible to normal users of the service.
But the terms claim you are only able to upload files which are "my own or belongs to someone for who I am legally authorized to act." If FBI agents are creating accounts and then uploading DNA which doesn't belong to them, that seems to me to violate the terms.
I mean, fundamentally, how is it different from the police asking a hotel administrator whether John Doe stayed there?
I don't think it's different. Hopefully the hotel operator has the good sense to tell any law enforcement without a warrant precisely where they can shove it. It sounds like this DNA company does not have that good sense, however.
No hyperbole needed, and only one way is present :)
In talking about searching a pool of people, I'm not really seeing how this is different than using Facebook to search for Criminal McEvildoer's name. The police are searching a pool of people (facebook users) to match a string. It's effectively the same thing, yeah?
The big issue here is that people are making privacy decisions without thinking through the ramifications of the privacy decisions.
People who support government's ability to violate our rights always seem to think that the government will never use it in bad faith... And then they act surprised when their rights are gone.
That is far from all it does. We have had massive historic and ongoing issues with the correct presentation and interpretation of forensic evidence by experts. There are a number of potential issues that can arise, but the deepest issue is a gradual shifting of the burden of proof onto defendants.
"Perhaps the greatest concern in all this debate, has been the subtle shift in the burden of proof resulting from misunderstanding or misuse of streamlined DNA profile match reports; with assumptions made and inferences asserted that a DNA match could only have resulted from the allegations, unless or until a defendant can demonstrate otherwise."
The problem is that we have learned that so much forensic science is just flat out not scientific. DNA has many issues depending on the type of matching done and the samples gathered. It's scary that DNA has become such a slam dunk in cases, because it makes framing someone for a crime incredibly easy.
Perhaps today at 3:00 EST it may helping law enforcement identify violent criminals, but tomorrow it may be helping other gov't entities directly (or indirectly via familial) identify individuals for any reason at all.
"Under the arrangement, the company has also agreed to test DNA evidence for the FBI in its private laboratory."
I hope the FBI will corroborate whatever results the private company comes up with later and just use the data to narrow down the suspects.
Damn right it can. I was on a business trip alone and found some of my wife’s hair in my bed. I know it was hers because there was some more on a jacket in my luggage. I know testing hair isn’t exactly straight forward, but that was her DNA in a country she’s never even been to.
There is really no way forward with this. Even is legally limited to law enforcement, the data will get hacked, leaked, abused. It’s just a matter of time.
They were lawful citizens too. The law was to identify them and ship them out. Do you understand their privacy concerns?
Can you promise that this won't happen again? Can you assure us that no future group will use the records for this sort of thing? I believe it will happen again. I believe it can happen here. I'm not keen on making it easier for them.
This is one case in which you definitely want to read the license before you sign up... then throw that test tube in the trash!
One of the DNA testing companies was offering a free test for folks who suffer from things like autoimmune disorders (which I do). I signed up, got the kit, filled out the survey which asks a bunch of specific questions about which particular medical condition you have, etc. I set the box aside, planning to take it to work and drop it off in outgoing mail the next day.
Well, _literally the next morning_ my youtube account was suddenly showing ads for medication for my particular condition.
They didn't even wait to receive my DNA before selling me out! Threw that test tube in the trash faster than you can say "scumbag"!
It's called cookie and fragment tracking across the Internet. That's what happened to you. You sold yourself out by browsing the web without sufficient content blockers.
I hope my family members are not. The question is: what do I value more? A society without serial rapist killers or my family? I guess I prefer a society without that sort of nonsense, so even if my DNA is used to ensnare a relative, and they were doing horrible stuff, I'd be heartbroken that a family member had gone so astray but grateful they were unable to hurt anybody else.
See the investigative work using shirttail relative DNA to isolate the Golden State Killer.
That said, do I want law enforcement to have willy nilly access to DNA to, for example, chase down littering? No, IMO that is an inappropriate level of intrusion for the societal problem. Do I trust government to exercise good sense with these tools? I fear not so much. But I guess we will get used to the intrusions just as we have become accustom to the gov hoovering up all our communications metadata to find terrorists.
I would got for option three, a society without false positives, and especially not a false positive because someone's naive uncle involuntarily submitted the entire family for testing.
That's the 'think of the children' argument. If that is the choice then why not full GPS surveillance or always on video cameras? The problem is that the DNA test is not 100% and will end up snaring a bunch of innocent people in a dragnet.
There is nothing you can do about it as a privacy conscious person. Some random relative will give their DNA up at some point or another. Then you're fucked forever.
It's cartoonishly evil. The government literally takes and stores the blood of all newborn infants.
There's a good thing they do with it, which is screening for genetic diseases, and some epidemiology. But there's nothing preventing them doing all that without tying it to each newborn's identity.
The doctors are stupid about it, but very few are going to forcibly take a blood sample from an infant while you protest and film it with your phone. And they'll give you horror stories and guilt trips about all the awful diseases your infant might have if you skip the test.
But fortunately the Mayo Clinic Labs have a test they can mail to your doctor that you can use instead:
Better plan it in advance though, and don't let the doctors put you off. Because once baby arrives, you'll be tired and the doctors will use all kinds of time pressure on you.
I understand that forensic DNA comparisons are currently simpler and more error-prone, but it seems like whole-genome comparison is already cheap enough that it could be used for comparing suspect DNA with crime scene DNA in important cases. At some point I expect it to become the new standard.
The "what about flawed DNA matches?" arguments against using this technology in law enforcement raise valid concerns, but I think that these specific objections may be obsolete in a few more years.
It basically tests for a few dozen genetic diseases. Diseases where if it’s caught early, the child has a chance at curtailing the negative consequences of the disease (they don’t test for diseases with no treatments).
See the list of states with how long they store the specimens here: https://www.cchfreedom.org/files/files/Newborn%20Retention%2...
Governments might use this archive to sequence the DNAs down the road and then use it similarly to how they are already using those private services. Prices of sequencing are sinking as we speak.
Better plan it in advance though.
Definitely don't send any money to these companies, as that's a lost game already.
During the presentation, images of public places vacuuming up biological material and sequencing whatever DNA material found came to my mind. The privacy implications of this is potentially very scary.
If it were legal you wouldn't have to worry about insurance companies mining genetic databases, it wouldn't matter, they'd simply demand a DNA sample in order to be insured.
>what if it goes the way of the endangered preexisting condition exclusion?
Then insurance companies will simply demand DNA to be insured. Same way car insurance companies demand financial information (through credit bureaus) in order to insure you in places where it's legal to do so (which is the vast majority of the US save 1-2 states).
So either way you don't have to worry about insurance companies mining private databases, if GINA exists they can't legally and if GINA doesn't exist they'll just do the data collection themselves.
Where we'd part company I guess is in seeing an equivalency of consequences in the lack of car as compared to the lack of health insurance.
Stories like these are why I'm glad I decided not to.
On the other, DNA matching is a stochastic process. False positive matches are possible, and likely if used to identify suspects at scale with no other evidence or links to the crime.
We’re probably still in the infancy of DNA-based law, I suspect.
Same way as asking "Do you want to be an organ donor?".
This will allow the FBI to profile the families of criminals. I have a cousin who joined a white supremecist group. Does that mean my life ahould be put under a microscope in case I’m committing crimes too? Should I have to submit to body cavity searches at airports because of her drug convictions?
Our prison system is not designed to punish or rehabilitate. It’s designed to isolate society’s undesireables and put them in a cage away from the rest of us. The Powers That Be would like nothing more than to extend that to entire families.