While services such as Ancestry and 23andMe promise to link your information to other like-minded users in order to uncover their familial and genetic history, a smaller yet similar service is now in the hot seat. GEDMatch isn’t as large a company as the aforementioned services, but a Florida judge ruled that an Orlando police detective could bypass blocks users put on their data to conduct a DNA search.
As reported by the New York Times last week, the ruling made by the judge granted the detective a legal search warrant to rifle through GEDMatch’s records in order to crack a case.
The service was used to solve the mystery of the Golden State Killer last year and the detective in question from Florida also used GEDMatch to close a case as well. The irony of this is that GEDMatch changed the nature of its search terms in the wake of the solving of the Golden State Killer case.
This is sending ripples throughout the technology and privacy sectors that normal citizens who have officially opted out of being searched publicly on DNA websites may possibly have those rights revoked at the beck and call of law enforcement officials.
The Orlando detective believes that the larger sites should also follow suit and would allow police to solve hundreds of open cases across the nation.