The capture of the Golden State killer suspect causes data protection concerns in the DNA site
GEDmatch said in a statement that law enforcement never approached him in California.
"It has always been GEDmatch's policy to inform users that the database can be used for other purposes, as stated in the site policy." The site said that the information provided by the participants in the "identification of relatives, the crime
Paul Holes, a recently retired cold-case detective at Contra Costa County Sheriff & # 39; 39; s Office, described the process of doubling suspects with DNA.
"If you find someone who has DNA that he could share with our offender … then find someone else, and if you see them sharing a bit more DNA, you're a bit closer to who the culprit is, "Holes told NBC News. "And so you come down this way at the end, until you finally come in a reasonably small suspicious pool."
The pool in this case contained DeAngelo, who was the right age and lived in the area where many of the crimes took place, officials said. The investigators examined him for six days, collecting DNA about things he had thrown out before they arrested him at his home on Tuesday night.
And DNA could possibly have played an earlier role in this case: by ending the crime. Genetic testing was used as a criminal investigation tool in 1
986 when the Golden State killer apparently ended its decade-long attack
DeAngelo, who was a police officer for two divisions in the 1970s, probably knew about it (19659002). Sacramento prosecutors confirmed on Thursday that that they found DeAngelo through genealogical websites revealed Ancestry.com and 23andMe statements that they had played any role.
Yet, privacy laws are not strong enough to prevent other police departments from inquiring, said Steve Mercer, the chief attorney for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender's forensic department.
"People who submit DNA for genealogy unknowingly become genetic informants to their innocent family," Mercer said, adding that they "have less privacy than convicted offenders whose DNA is contained in regulated databases."
Sheldon Krimsky, a professor at Tufts University, who studies ethics in science and medicine, said that nearly half of the companies that supply ancestral information sell their genetic information to another company. These include pharmaceutical or drug developers who want to use it for research.
Earlier this year, Krimsky said in an interview with Tufts Now, a news site affiliated with Tufts University, that only 10 percent of ancestor companies would destroy a person's original sample
"The vast majority stick to their trial or sold So it's not just the data, it's your actual saliva, "he added.