Investigative genetic genealogy is the emerging practice of combining DNA analysis with traditional genealogy research by utilizing DNA from direct-to-consumer companies, like GEDmatch, to identify suspects or victims of crime. Recently, this criminal investigatory technique was likely used in an active high-profile investigation to make an arrest. The national attention attained by the investigation combined with the widespread coverage of its use of genetic genealogy will increase law enforcement’s interest in using genetic databases in active investigations. Despite the investigatory tool raising privacy and Fourth Amendment concerns, genetic genealogy remains largely unregulated. Accordingly, state legislative branches and the federal executive branch must enact enforceable regulation to protect against unconstitutional searches and restrict law enforcement’s ability to access genetic information.
Author: Dorothy McGee
Volume 24, Issue 3