AP Explains: A look at DNA-sharing services and privacy
NEW YORK (AP) — The use of a genealogy website to track down a suspected serial killer illustrates both the power of DNA-sharing services and the privacy concerns that surround them.
Commercials for companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com pitch their services as a fun way to learn about family heritage. Those companies sought to distance themselves from the free GEDmatch website used by police searching for California’s Golden State Killer. But the case exposed questions about uploading DNA test results to the internet.
Daniel De Simone is a New Jersey researcher whose relatives have used DNA services. He says the California investigation reinforced the fears of people who are skeptical about sharing their genetic information.
The co-founder of GEDmatch insists that his company does not “hand out data.”