Read the article: A judge said police can search DNA of 1 million Americans without their consent. What's next? by Jocelyn Kaiser
The court's permit that allows police to conduct DNA related searches on databases that possess such data is a rude act and should be reversed. The warrant is a complete disrespect both to the companies that hold the information and to the individuals who entrust the organizations with their DNA data. According to a piece by Jocelyn Kaiser, the search warrant was issued following a proposal by a detective who was in dire need to track down a rape criminal. As recorded, the detective's purpose was to perform a thorough search on GEDmatch.com's database while mapping every available matching DNA data. Through the search on GEDmatch.com the detective would then be able to directly point out the suspect or find distant relatives and formulate family trees that may assist in narrowing down the search. Arguably, this would render all individuals from a particular family tree whose DNA samples are not in the database as possible suspects. On one hand, the judge may have opened up an era where the police easily track down criminals but on the the other hand, the judge has compelled any individual who had not willingly or unwillingly provided DNA data to the websites to provide the data. By doing so, such individuals will escape unnecessary dialogues with the police in future. Through an interview highlighted by Kaiser and conducted by Science.com featuring Natalie Ram, a professor of law, this harassment of innocent souls is what makes the search inhuman and invalid. According to Ram, the ability to access a database in itself a questionable act leave alone forcing users to collect DNA data without consent in a race to reduce police scrutiny. As a matter of fact, as Ram points out the companies which hold sensitive data are free to seek a court ruling against the permit. It is not clear whether by providing access to sensitive data may help the police to curb crime or may generate loop holes to misuse such data. However, to reduce further complexity companies may seek court order to limit the search warrant in such a way that the detectives may only access information within their search boundary. By doing so, the companies stand a high chance of winning on both sides of the toss.
Kaiser J. (2019) A Judge Said Police can Search the DNA of 1 Million Americans Without Their Consent. What’s Next? Science.com