Maryland Bill Would Further Curb Police Use of DNA Database

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  katrix  •  last year  •  58 comments

Maryland Bill Would Further Curb Police Use of DNA Database
Legislation prohibiting searches of statewide databases for the purpose of identifying offenders through familial DNA already exists in Maryland, but Sydnor's bill aims to extend the ban over to popular consumer genetic databases such as 23andMe or ancestry.com, where suspected criminals could be identified through family members who've uploaded their data to the websites.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



We've probably all heard about how serial killers, such as the cop in CA, have been identified by their relatives submitting DNA samples to ancestry websites.  Law enforcement is looking at those sites.  The other day, a killer was targeted through a DNA database; he spit into a napkin at a hockey game, the police took the napkin, matched his DNA to the woman he allegedly raped and killed.  Cold case possibly solved.

Violation of rights or justice?  It's interesting.  I can choose not to have my DNA samples uploaded to these websites, but if one of my cousins does, I can still be traced.  Our identity rights are vague at this point.  And our DNA rights are even more vague.

Thoughts?  I see pros and cons. But mostly I am for it.  Solve some open cases .. get justice.

Argh.  I have no picture .. why do we need an image for everything we post?  I chose a random photo. I don't even know what it is since I can't preview it.


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katrix
1  seeder  katrix    last year

Ooh!  My photo is a good one, although it has nothing to do with the article 

What do you think? 

 
 
 
Split Personality
1.1  Split Personality  replied to  katrix @1    last year

Ducks have DNA too.  And your foursome reflect a certain genetic diversity. I like it.

 
 
 
katrix
1.1.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  Split Personality @1.1    last year
Ducks have DNA too.  And your foursome reflect a certain genetic diversity. I like it.

Dragon Duck on the right was evil yet cool.  The one in the middle found a wild girlfriend who came up with him to get food, quack, and hang out with us.  She started laying eggs on the bank when it flooded, and they floated off or something, but she never stopped trying!  The one on the left wasn't around for long, poor duck.

 
 
 
Split Personality
1.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  katrix @1.1.1    last year

<mine> hang around the front door all day every day.

To the untrained eye they all (mostly) look alike butt, when you are tripping over them or herding them out of the way,

we start naming them according to the subtle and not so subtle differences, lol

 
 
 
katrix
1.1.3  seeder  katrix  replied to  Split Personality @1.1.2    last year

These were named Peking, Szechuan, and Dragon Duck.

 
 
 
charger 383
1.2  charger 383  replied to  katrix @1    last year

Cool picture

I figured there was a hidden down side to DNA testing, which is why I have not done it 

 
 
 
katrix
1.2.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  charger 383 @1.2    last year

I sent a cheek swap for the National Geographic Human Genome thing. It showed how my ancestors migrated from Africa ... but was rather primitive in retrospect.  I'd be OK with the ancestry thing but I'd have to pay again, even though I wouldn't need to submit additional DNA.

I'm OK with the privacy aspect but ... it's not just my privacy, which is the part that's interesting .

 
 
 
charger 383
1.2.2  charger 383  replied to  katrix @1.2.1    last year

I know my father's name history back to coming with William Penn from a family history group, I have not taken their DNA test.  I would like to know some more things and more about my mothers side. 

Everybody's privacy is at risk in many ways

 
 
 
Enoch
1.2.3  Enoch  replied to  charger 383 @1.2    last year

Dear Friend Charger: Hills and valleys to this as all new technologies.

They are still ironing out the wrinkes.

Mine came back saying I am descended from 8% State Sales Tax.

Enoch, Paying the Genetic Tax Quarterly.

 
 
 
Split Personality
1.2.4  Split Personality  replied to  charger 383 @1.2.2    last year

Well the cautionary part is

that they will identify cousins, third cousins and distant cousins in case you want to connect, for an additional fee.

Likewise they may discover those old documents, mortgages, visas and passport records of our parents & grandparents and beyond

for a separate fee.

Nothing is gratis.

 
 
 
katrix
1.2.5  seeder  katrix  replied to  Split Personality @1.2.4    last year

They're already finding siblings and children that people didn't know existed.

 
 
 
Split Personality
1.2.6  Split Personality  replied to  katrix @1.2.5    last year

Yeah like  that guy who recently discovered an adult daughter from a college days sperm bank 'donation'

First shock, one adult daughter, then when he went to meet her,

BOOM ! , two more daughters from the same "donation".

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.3  dave-2693993  replied to  katrix @1    last year

I like it. It's a good photo. Next time, just go with what you feel.

But HEY, what's up with Maryland. I live here. What is up the legislators collective ass?

I want to cuss about this. Am I missing something?

 
 
 
katrix
1.3.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.3    last year

I used to live in MD.  I agree, what's up with this?

 
 
 
Release The Kraken
1.4  Release The Kraken  replied to  katrix @1    last year

Article image has been changed to avoid a conflict with copyright. The article image was on the link you provided.

Sincerely,

The People's Fish

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3  Bob Nelson    last year

Interesting topic.

I'm not sure what to think. OTOH, I like to see criminals caught... but there's something Big Brother-ish about the method.

The seed never explains what its motivation is.

Maybe if samples were taken, 100%, at birth ....

 
 
 
katrix
3.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    last year

He claims it's unreasonable search and seizure.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @3.1    last year

Oh.

My problem with that argument is that there is neither search nor seizure of anything belonging to the suspect...

We allow "security camera" footage, with a very wide definition of "security". We allow all sorts of cell phone information.

I dunno... it seems reasonable... and Big Brother-ish... at the same time...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.1    last year

I remember having my DNA sampled back when I was in the military. The technology was basically new and the military wanted to use it for identification. In this case, a soldier/sailor/airman/Marine has no expectation of privacy since Uncle Sam owns your ass.

But now my DNA is in a government website.....

 
 
 
Kavika
4  Kavika     last year

I've never done the DNA testing thing...Don't really need to since I'm fairly sure of my heritage/race...

It sounds good but for some reason it kinda reminds of of 1984....

 
 
 
MUVA
4.1  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @4    last year

It is Orwellian I should have thought about that before my sister started sending all my family's samples to 23andme last year come to find out I'm a mutt.

 
 
 
evilgenius
4.2  evilgenius  replied to  Kavika @4    last year

They are not only using samples that people themselves have on various genealogy sites, but they are matching to family members and then using warrants to compel a match from the suspect. I'm six of one kind - half a dozen of another on this subject. As long as they aren't breaking current laws or expanding privacy laws, AND they aren't trying to falsify DNA evidence, I'm mostly likely ok with it.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5  Buzz of the Orient    last year

Two issues here - the article photo, and DNA privacy.

If a seed has a photo, then you should use that photo and not another. Apparently there are copyright issues. If the seed doesn't have a photo, then I would choose a photo from the internet that is relevant.  However, I have been having problems with some photos on seeds that are impossible to save, even if they can be copied, but you need a saved photo to be able to use it for posting a seed. I think that in that case you should be able to use your own avatar instead. 

DNA does not just help to prove guilt, it is also used to prove innocence, and I believe that people who have been wrongly convicted have obtained freedom when DNA evidence has provided such proof.  

 
 
 
katrix
5.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    last year

The article didn't have a photo.  And I'm hesitant to grab a photo off the Internet since I wouldn't know if it was copyrighted.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
5.2  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    last year
DNA does not just help to prove guilt, it is also used to prove innocence, and I believe that people who have been wrongly convicted have obtained freedom when DNA evidence has provided such proof.  

There are several just such cases where DNA cleared a convict after lengthy stays in the penitentiary.....

And there lies my issue with the death sentence.... Not that I'm against it per say, just with the plethora of pardons cause of absolute innocence proven by DNA decades later, the death penalty and it's application has to come up to speed with it.... 

And right now it can't.....

That being said, My own personal belief is it should be illegal to make a general database based upon DNA of the population. But making a general DNA database of felony convictions? ABSOLUTELY! Should be mandatory upon conviction, as far as the legal evidentiary process, if the crime warrants it, Murder, Rape, sexual assault of any type, injury type crimes..... Automatic collection and cataloging.

They have already proved who/what they are....

 
 
 
katrix
5.2.2  seeder  katrix  replied to  Nowhere Man @5.2    last year

But this is using a relative's DNA to identify them.  They haven't voluntarily submitted their own DNA and in most cases haven't been convicted felons (one was a former police officer).  And this wouldn't be used to clear someone as far as I can tell. 

That's why I'm torn, but leaning toward in favor of it.  But it raises all kinds of questions.

 
 
 
katrix
5.2.3  seeder  katrix  replied to    last year
But then again, everyone arrested is routinely fingerprinted, so should the collection of DNA by a cheek swab be treated any differently?

Apparently the Supreme Court has ruled that it's legal for police to collect your DNA upon arrest for any crime, even if the DNA isn't relevant to the crime.  And as you mentioned, their reasoning is that it is more like being fingerprinted and thus isn't unreasonable search and seizure.  And apparently quite a few states do it.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
5.2.4  Nowhere Man  replied to    last year
Needs to sorted out and clarified by the courts.

I agree that a lot of it needs to be clarified by the courts.....

What the Article is really talking about is using public DNA databases generally used for genealogical research to back track DNA through the family's records to identify the criminal....

California has recently had great success with this approach twice....

DNA from genealogy site used to catch suspected Golden State Killer

And

Alleged serial rapist caught after 27 years using genealogy search

They used the DNA from the crime scene that they submitted to the DNA database to track back relatives of the criminal to find, through a process of elimination, a suspect which they then tail to obtain a current DNA sample to test against the known crime scene sample.

It works very well in narrowing the field......

Is this ethical is what the article asks....

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
5.2.5  Nowhere Man  replied to  katrix @5.2.2    last year
That's why I'm torn, but leaning toward in favor of it.  But it raises all kinds of questions.

I'm torn as well, and agree. Can ones family unwittingly be used as evidence against a person. Especially if they haven't a clue who the suspect is and used the DNA to find a suspect.....

And what about the recent cases of flubbed DNA tests in criminal cases?

Former Forensic Science Director Alleges DNA Flubs in NY

What happens if they get on the wrong family tree cause of a flubbed initial test?

And then there is always the potential for abuse.....

 
 
 
evilgenius
5.2.6  evilgenius  replied to  Nowhere Man @5.2.4    last year
Is this ethical is what the article asks....

I think we should be cautious. We shouldn't let lawmakers expand access any more than it already has and at the very least make sure a warrants are properly issued where they should be. 

 
 
 
katrix
5.2.7  seeder  katrix  replied to  Nowhere Man @5.2.4    last year

And a 1973 murder was apparently just solved in the same manner.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.2.8  Bob Nelson  replied to  evilgenius @5.2.6    last year
We shouldn't let lawmakers expand access any more than it already has and at the very least make sure a warrants are properly issued where they should be.

Some of these genealogy databases are pretty open.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.2.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @5.2.2    last year
And this wouldn't be used to clear someone as far as I can tell.

Why do you say that? If a cop can use this to show that a suspect was not on the scene... would that not be helpful?

 
 
 
katrix
5.2.10  seeder  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.2.9    last year

If the person is already a suspect, the cops would get that person's DNA directly.  This is about using family members' DNA to determine who the suspect is.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.2.11  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @5.2.10    last year
This is about using family members' DNA to determine who the suspect is.

Sure... but doesn't the same process show that all other family members are innocent? Isn't it kinda a question of "the last one standing"?

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
5.2.12  Nowhere Man  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.2.11    last year

Yes it is establishing a database of potential suspects which typical police investigation techniques can then eliminate.

What happens when creating this publicly available database they run across someone else who matches a piece of DNA in another crime....

Is that person having their privacy rights being violated?

That directly leads to the issue of having a general database of DNA on all citizens and that crimes providing DNA evidence can be checked against that database....

Would sure cut down on the investigative time wouldn't it?

That is the fear here.........

Technology and the application of it is outstripping normal ethics as we understand them. (and currently is codified in our laws)

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.2.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  Nowhere Man @5.2.12    last year
That directly leads to the issue of having a general database of DNA on all citizens and that crimes providing DNA evidence can be checked against that database....

Yeah... That's the elephant in the room.

I wonder if there's really a question, or it it's inevitable.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
5.2.14  Nowhere Man  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.2.13    last year

Well it is so simple it's ludicrous that no one thought about it till now. If DNA can be used to eliminate a suspect based upon failure to match, the opposite is also true. The same markers that eliminate a suspect create a suspect pool also.....

Anyone with those markers....

Establish the pool then investigation becomes a simple records search. Eliminate the dead, those too young, those not living in the area, those that were somewhere else, (by credit card or phone records) and your down to a couple of people with the requisite markers.... Who are available in the area and general time period.

It's a hell of a lot easier than doing sketches and canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses to set up a suspect pool. You don't have to deal with witness fallibility nor warning the suspect that your investigating him/her.....

DNA is an absolutely solid, ready made suspect pool. You know going in that your perp is on that list somewhere......

So simple an idea it was easily overlooked.....

But it's not now. There is no law preventing the commercial genealogy databases being used like this.

And in practice it does work surprisingly well.... Very well and accurate from what I'm gathering.

I'm sure that some in the police fields are going to be jumping all over this like flies on DCrap....

Probably inevitable I'm sure....... It's just too easy not to use it.....

One simple differing point of view on how to use DNA. Is an investigators wet dream.....

I don't see how they are not going to use it.....

 
 
 
MUVA
5.2.15  MUVA  replied to  katrix @5.2.3    last year

The police can't look at your phone but can your blood interesting.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.2.16  Bob Nelson  replied to  MUVA @5.2.15    last year
The police can't look at your phone but can your blood interesting.

Yeah... kinda contradictory, isn't it?

As someone already said, here, our ethics and laws have a hard time keeping up with our technology.

 
 
 
Split Personality
5.3  Split Personality  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    last year

Last night at publication of the seed, there was only a video of the legislator, which I could not grab or make work.

So I allowed the ducks photo on the grounds that they have DNA.

 
 
 
katrix
5.3.1  seeder  katrix  replied to  Split Personality @5.3    last year

Heh!  For some reason I thought I seeded this from WTOP, and their article didn't have a photo.

 
 
 
Split Personality
5.3.2  Split Personality  replied to  katrix @5.3.1    last year

I know what I saw when I saw it.

I think, lol.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.3.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @5.3.2    last year

We want ducks...

We want ducks...

We want ducks...

We want ducks...

 
 
 
Split Personality
6  Split Personality    last year

They take fingerprints when you work for the government, military, SEC and or get arrested, and sometimes in grade school by the local police.

They are not doing it for altruistic reasons or just to identify you in case of death.

DNA is the logical progression.

Next, your eyes.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
6.1  Nowhere Man  replied to  Split Personality @6    last year

Yeah retina scans are even more accurate than fingerprints........

I've always wondered after the tech was perfected how long it was going to be to need a scan to access your bank account.....

The tech is already available....

 
 
 
katrix
6.1.2  seeder  katrix  replied to    last year

Hmm.  I'm guessing the scanner - since it scans the retina - would go through the contact lens as it does the cornea. 

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
6.1.3  Nowhere Man  replied to  katrix @6.1.2    last year
Wouldn't it be easy to use a fake contact lens to fool the scanner?

No, 

Hmm.  I'm guessing the scanner - since it scans the retina - would go through the contact lens as it does the cornea.

Exactly, the scan isn't a flat image, it is a 3D projection, you not only have to have the same pattern of veins and arteries, but they have to be at the same depth. A contact lens over the cornea with a fake pattern would not pass the depth measurement part of the scan....

The tech has advanced quite a bit over the last 15 years or so.....

 
 
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