GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-04 > 1145645186
From: "Michael L. Hébert" <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] DNA Project Conscription
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 13:46:26 -0500
I'm sure the FBI has mined and continues to mine data from all the genetic
genealogy databases out there (Ysearch/Ybase/SMGF/etc). I wouldn't doubt
that they even have access to the confidential test results and identities
held by individual testing entities. I don't think that this use is
necessarily ethical, but that is the lay of the land right now. If law
enforcement misuses genetic genealogy data in an investigation or someone
uses the data for racial profiling, then shame on them, not on us who use it
for its intended purpose. People who contribute to these public databases,
which includes myself, know that their genetic data will be out there for
anyone to use for any potential purpose. If they want to remain completely
private, then they shouldn't donate to the databases and not get tested by
any of the testing companies.
In my opinion, use of the data in a genetic genealogy project is in line
with its intended use, the furtherance of genealogical knowledge through the
use of genetic data. It is not revealing any specific information that the
databases don't already contain or anything that the individual subjects
didn't intend, such as their identity.
You are right in saying ... "What we do as individuals can certainly impact
others unintentionally." Since I've contributed my dna to public databases,
my male family members and numerous paternal line male cousins that share my
Y haplotype better keep on the straight and narrow. And everyone (men and
women) in my maternal line that share my mtdna better behave too since that
will also probably wind up online. ;)
From: Jason S. Clary [mailto:]
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] DNA Project Conscription
One possible concern is genetic profiling for law enforcement. It's a
little too late to worry about it now, though. ;)
As an example... If you have an unknown DNA sample in a criminal case that
doesn't hit in CODIS but you do have a list of people who could have been
present. Now, test that DNA for Y-DNA and see what surname hits come up.
Those hits could be near relatives of the person the sample came from and
might in some cases be very suggestive of the surname of the person who's
DNA was found on the scene so it might prompt futher, possibly unjustified
and erroneous, examination of one of the people on the list of people who
could have been present on the scene. This would force that person to
either put up with it or provide his DNA to CODIS for exclusionary purposes
which many people would object to as an invasion of privacy.
There are also disturbing possibilities for racial descrimination even
though it's clearly fallacious to associate Y-DNA with modern concepts of
None of this is especially likely (or rather not especially likely to happen
to any given individual) but they are certainly possibilities which should
be considered when contemplating the release of project data.
What we do as individuals can certainly impact others unintentionally.