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Thread: Ancestory and other genealogy sites used by cops??

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    Ancestory and other genealogy sites used by cops??

    As per the news yesterday, a crook who's been on the run for supposedly 30+ years, finally got caught, after the cops accessed the DNA registries on file with several "Family heritage/genealogy sites, such as Ancestory.com

    Now in the past on some of the cop shows, they had similar going on, where they would (if checking via normal sources) check say the organ donation list (those registered), or the bone marrow lists.. Saying "Since you gave consent to use those organizations, then its public knowledge, or something to that effect".

    Now, who here feels that Cops/FBI (or other LE) should be able to access the DNA on file with databases like that? Do you feel if they do so, those orgs should be required to inform those who use then "HEY our site will collect your DNA and keep it on file, and give it over to cops when asked for"??

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    As per the news yesterday, a crook who's been on the run for supposedly 30+ years, finally got caught, after the cops accessed the DNA registries on file with several "Family heritage/genealogy sites, such as Ancestory.com

    Now in the past on some of the cop shows, they had similar going on, where they would (if checking via normal sources) check say the organ donation list (those registered), or the bone marrow lists.. Saying "Since you gave consent to use those organizations, then its public knowledge, or something to that effect".

    Now, who here feels that Cops/FBI (or other LE) should be able to access the DNA on file with databases like that? Do you feel if they do so, those orgs should be required to inform those who use then "HEY our site will collect your DNA and keep it on file, and give it over to cops when asked for"??
    Family heritage / geneaology sites are not medical, therefore not protected under HIPPA guidlelines, so it is subject to a warrant, just like phone records, EasyPass data showing car travel etc., no issue with that at all. Also, if the company that is storing the DNA data reveals in whatever user agreement is signed by the customer, I have no issue with it ... catch is almost noone reads those things in their entirety.

    The recent dustup about Facebook / Cambridge Analytica is an example of this ... If you actually read the Facebook user agreement ... Facebook users, by virtue of agreeing to the Facebook Terms of Service authorize Facebook to conduct data collection, aggregration and to sell portions of that data to third parties, but ... no one reads the rules before they start using it, then pitch fits when they didn't understand what they signed up for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    As per the news yesterday, a crook who's been on the run for supposedly 30+ years, finally got caught, after the cops accessed the DNA registries on file with several "Family heritage/genealogy sites, such as Ancestory.com

    Now in the past on some of the cop shows, they had similar going on, where they would (if checking via normal sources) check say the organ donation list (those registered), or the bone marrow lists.. Saying "Since you gave consent to use those organizations, then its public knowledge, or something to that effect".

    Now, who here feels that Cops/FBI (or other LE) should be able to access the DNA on file with databases like that? Do you feel if they do so, those orgs should be required to inform those who use then "HEY our site will collect your DNA and keep it on file, and give it over to cops when asked for"??
    Family heritage / geneaology sites are not medical, therefore not protected under HIPPA guidlelines, so it is subject to a warrant, just like phone records, EasyPass data showing car travel etc., no issue with that at all. Also, if the company that is storing the DNA data reveals in whatever user agreement is signed by the customer, I have no issue with it ... catch is almost noone reads those things in their entirety.

    The recent dustup about Facebook / Cambridge Analytica is an example of this ... If you actually read the Facebook user agreement ... Facebook users, by virtue of agreeing to the Facebook Terms of Service authorize Facebook to conduct data collection, aggregration and to sell portions of that data to third parties, but ... no one reads the rules before they start using it, then pitch fits when they didn't understand what they signed up for.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    And if the user agreements FOR those geonoligy sites DID say "Oi we will collect your data, store it even after you might be done using our service, and present it to LE when asked for", and someone said "Go ahead", then that's on them. MY question, though IS DO they?? One of my comrades (gaming, not military) Used it, and after asking him, he doesn't remember seeing anything in his EUA about that.
    Checking on Ancestry.com, i see NOTHING in the link that goes over "who can and cannot access your DNA", about LE being allowed..

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    MY question, though IS DO they??
    Do they have to?

    An end user agreement must contain what the company intends to use it for, not every possible contingency (theft, compliance with law enforcement etc.) Legal searches by law enforcement are not the intent of ancestry.com, 24&me etc. but they could be required to comply with a legal warrant.

    Bottom line: 9.999 times out of 10 a company is not looking out for the "best interests" of anyone / anything but their own profit margin. They aren't here to protect the consumer from their own bad / misinformed decisions; a company is always willing to help ... for a price.
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    If they are taking our DNA then IMO Yes they should be required to let you know..
    Which is one reason i never understood why cops can access MILITARY DNA registries, when BY constitutional law, they were created for the SOLE purpose of identifying DEAD servicemen..

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    If they are taking our DNA then IMO Yes they should be required to let you know..
    Which is one reason i never understood why cops can access MILITARY DNA registries, when BY constitutional law, they were created for the SOLE purpose of identifying DEAD servicemen..
    A couple of points:

    1. I think it is a bit unneccessary for them to say that the company intends to comply with the law.

    2. While, yes ... they "take" the DNA, no one is compelled to use the services of ancestry.com, 23&me.com etc.

    3. Military DNA registries, can be accessed via a search warrant, the same way that your pg2 or other DEERS information could be accessed ... not really different.

    Ultimately, the ways that data bases like these are used by law enforcement isn't a surprise to people who have kept up with issues covering the 4th Amendment and actually read EULAs. We can always be more redundant in what is already stated, repackage notices, EULAs etc. but how do you pick what to highlight? The info is already there, sometimes buried but the user bears a responsibility to read the thing. We can bend over backwards to help them with what is already provided ... which falls into the realm of protecting people from their own lack of being informed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    A couple of points:

    1. I think it is a bit unneccessary for them to say that the company intends to comply with the law.

    2. While, yes ... they "take" the DNA, no one is compelled to use the services of ancestry.com, 23&me.com etc.

    3. Military DNA registries, can be accessed via a search warrant, the same way that your pg2 or other DEERS information could be accessed ... not really different.

    Ultimately, the ways that data bases like these are used by law enforcement isn't a surprise to people who have kept up with issues covering the 4th Amendment and actually read EULAs. We can always be more redundant in what is already stated, repackage notices, EULAs etc. but how do you pick what to highlight? The info is already there, sometimes buried but the user bears a responsibility to read the thing. We can bend over backwards to help them with what is already provided ... which falls into the realm of protecting people from their own lack of being informed.
    The interesting thing about the California case, from my understanding, is that the suspect/cuprit never did use the service nor give his permission.

    The cops had some DNA from the crime scenes and used it through the service to find identify some users that came out as related to him.

    From there, they were able to trace it back to the guy himself. They then staked out his house and got some of his trash and performed a match with the crime-scene DNA they already had.

    I'm not sure if his relatives gave any kind of release for their data to be used, but that's sort of the point of the service isn't it? Not for LE of course, but to identify family links.
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    It sounds wonkey to me..

    Almost reminds me of an ep of L&O, where they got the baddie, by badgering a blood donation facility to let them match a DNA test from a crime scene to see if it was one of their donors, then they used that as "Proof he's guilty".

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    Signaling a 'new era,' man caught through genetic genealogy gets life in prison

    In a milestone for forensic criminal investigators, a convicted killer received two life sentences on Wednesday for a 1987 double slaying after becoming the first person arrested through genetic genealogy to be found guilty at trial. “The conviction and sentencing of William Earl Talbott II marks a new era for the use genetic genealogy for identifying violent criminals since it has now been tested and tried in a court of law,” geneology expert CeCe Moore told ABC News.
    William Earl Talbott II was arrested in May 2018 and charged with aggravated murder for the Washington state cold case killings of 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg, authorities said. A jury found Talbott guilty last month.
    "By Talbott not pleading guilty, he's put a whole new generation of people through his horror," one of Cook's sisters, Laura Baanstra, said in court Wednesday. "Thank God Talbott is finally off the streets."
    I find this whole field pretty fascinating.

    I know a couple people that have found long lost biological parents and siblings using these type services...

    I saw another case recently, where a guy was arrested for rape based on 30 year old DNA evidence....he denied it and claimed he never raped anyone. He did not recognize the girl at first and she did not recognize him.

    Upon appeal, someone thought to show the girl a picture of the guy from 30 years ago and then she recognized that she briefly dated him (and had sex) around that timeframe, which would account for his DNA being found in her.

    Wild story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...pe/1815380001/
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