Florida judge grants warrant to search almost a million people in DNA site’s database

Florida judge grants warrant to search almost a million people in DNA site’s database

By

The story: A Florida detective was given a warrant to search GEDmatch, a DNA data site, and go through its database containing nearly one million people's genetic information, regardless of whether users agreed to participate in police searches.

According to MSN, the warrant was signed in July by a judge in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court and it appears to be the first of its kind.

“That’s a huge game-changer,” said New York University law professor Erin Murphy. “The company made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that’s been overridden by a court. It’s a signal that no genetic information can be safe.”

The ruling will most likely encourage other agencies to request similar access warrants from 23andMe and Ancestry.com, two other DNA data sites.

Hey .... visit CNN sometime and ask yourself, “Would this be any different if it were produced by the Democratic party?” #DontTrustTheMedia

Orlando Police Department Detective Michael Fields announced the warrant's existence last week, during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference held in Chicago. Upturn policy analyst Logan Koepke, who was present during the police convention, said that after Fields' announcement “multiple other detectives and officers approached him asking for a copy of the warrant.”

Police methods: Public DNA data sites have been used by police detectives as methods to identify criminals and solve various cases. In April 2018, California police identified Joseph James DeAngelo, who they believe is the Golden State Killer, by using GEDmatch. Detective Fields himself used GEDmatch to identify a person suspected of murdering a 25-year-old woman in 2001.

After GEDmatch changed its policy in May, now requiring law enforcement agents to identify themselves before accessing the database and use data only from users who have previously agreed so, many police investigators were frustrated and disappointed.

INSTEAD OF CENSORSHIP: Our Free Speech Zone below is divided into Civil, Spirited and Extreme labels, so users can decide what they’re comfortable with seeing

Experts' opinions: DNA policy experts noted that they will monitor people's reactions to the warrant, and see whether authorities will go after larger genetic databases.

“I have no question in my mind that if the public isn’t outraged by this, they will go to the mother lode: the 15-million-person Ancestry database,” Murphy said. “Why play in the peanuts when you can go to the big show?”

“They won’t stop here,” said Yaniv Erlich, the chief science officer at MyHeritage.

Currently, both Ancestry.com and 23andMe are strict when it comes to sharing database information with law enforcement agents, for fear of losing trust in costumers. Christine Pai, a 23andMe spokeswoman, said via email, "We never share customer data with law enforcement unless we receive a legally valid request such as a search warrant or written court order. Upon receipt of an inquiry from law enforcement, we use all practical legal measures to challenge such requests in order to protect our customers’ privacy.”

Detective Fields added that he welcomes access to other data sites such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com, claiming that we "would see hundreds and hundreds of unsolved crimes solved overnight.”

A DAILY DOSE OF SANITY:  Click here to get LaCorte News delivered to your in-box each day!

What's "LaCorte News"?
Skip To Community
Trump’s legal team calls Dems’ impeachment case ‘flimsy’ and ‘dangerous’ ahead of Senate trial

Trump’s legal team calls Dems’ impeachment case ‘flimsy’ and ‘dangerous’ ahead of Senate trial

The brief comes after House impeachment managers filed their own brief Saturday, outlining their "compelling case" against the president.

FLASHBACK: MLK Jr: “I have a dream”

 

Puerto Rican officials fired after discovery of unused relief aid

Puerto Rican officials fired after discovery of unused relief aid

Residents discovered a warehouse full of unused emergency supplies purportedly from when Hurricane Maria hit the island two years ago.

New York Times endorses Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar for president

The paper broke with tradition in endorsing two candidates.

NBC op-ed argues racist Trump supporters violate the Constitution

An op-ed by Noah Berlatsky asserts that voting for Trump is racist and in conflict with the Constitution, warranting government intervention.

Thousands attend peaceful pro-gun rally in Virginia

Thousands attend peaceful pro-gun rally in Virginia

Tens of thousands of people from across the country headed to Virginia's Capitol Monday and peacefully protested gun-control laws.

Trump unleashed: Crazy or brilliant?

A month after WaPo's expose on how Americans were lied to about the war in Afghanistan, a Friday report details how the president insulted generals and called the it "a loser war."

Journalist calls police, publicly shames Target employee over alleged mislabeled price tag

David Leavitt tweeted that he called police to report a Target worker for refusing to sell him a toothbrush for a penny. It backfired.

Trump’s legal team calls Dems’ impeachment case ‘flimsy’ and ‘dangerous’ ahead of Senate trial

Trump’s legal team calls Dems’ impeachment case ‘flimsy’ and ‘dangerous’ ahead of Senate trial

The brief comes after House impeachment managers filed their own brief Saturday, outlining their "compelling case" against the president.

Puerto Rican officials fired after discovery of unused relief aid

Puerto Rican officials fired after discovery of unused relief aid

Residents discovered a warehouse full of unused emergency supplies purportedly from when Hurricane Maria hit the island two years ago.

New York Times endorses Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar for president

The paper broke with tradition in endorsing two candidates.

NBC op-ed argues racist Trump supporters violate the Constitution

An op-ed by Noah Berlatsky asserts that voting for Trump is racist and in conflict with the Constitution, warranting government intervention.

Thousands attend peaceful pro-gun rally in Virginia

Thousands attend peaceful pro-gun rally in Virginia

Tens of thousands of people from across the country headed to Virginia's Capitol Monday and peacefully protested gun-control laws.

Trump unleashed: Crazy or brilliant?

A month after WaPo's expose on how Americans were lied to about the war in Afghanistan, a Friday report details how the president insulted generals and called the it "a loser war."

Journalist calls police, publicly shames Target employee over alleged mislabeled price tag

David Leavitt tweeted that he called police to report a Target worker for refusing to sell him a toothbrush for a penny. It backfired.

FLASHBACK: MLK Jr: “I have a dream”