One of the Biggest At-Home DNA Testing Companies Is Working with the FBI

c3k

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
2,141
The technology is advancing.
In this day and age, we are limited only by the extent of our imagination. Our tools will create that of which we dream.

We will be protected from pernicious use of this only by the procedural rules we put in place...and by how well we adhere to those rules.

The US Constitution has checks and balances to rein in the natural desire of rulers to tend towards tyranny. These checks have been eroded. Grabbing a tossed out bottle from a targeted suspect, swabbing it for DNA, and then convicting that person, seems to violate the Search and Seizure clause. That barrier has been broken by a weak-willed judiciary.

I am not confident that more, and worse, intrusions will occur now that multiple DNA databases are proliferating.

Minority Report was closer to truth than fiction.
 

scojer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
4,515
...Except when your kids or other people related to you use these DNA kits, then you get busted...

https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article209913514.html

Also this article doesn’t indicate how many DNA results are handed I’ve with each request. Could be a small number of cases, however each represents a large handover of DNA.
Y'know, I'm alright with someone being caught because their family member used one of those kits.


people like him don't think 10 steps ahead I am afraid.
I don't care about the 10 steps ahead as long as in the end the true criminal gets caught.

So you are telling me, Flu, TB, HIV, Aids, Zika Virus etc all came from nothing but thin air, if they get a sizable Sample of peoples DNA, they have just moved one step close to killing us all. and they will patent it, so nobody can come up with a cure, like they always do.
If you think the government created all of those, you've lost all credibility I'm afraid.
 
Last edited:

Wierdo

[H]ard|Gawd
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"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." - Snowden
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
29,979
To both of you two, I am curious about what you see as the 'less noble causes' this will be used for. Are you talking about the purpose the member below suggests? That the government will use Family DNA's data to somehow to patent non-curable super virus's and kill us all? If not, what is this less noble cause? If they use the DNA to catch a robber armed who was injured during a crime and bleed a bit? or if they catch a jaywalker who had a nosebleed while jay-walking and the jay-walking was caught on camera? Seriously, I'm genuinely curious what you think the misuse of DNA evidence will be. Like what's a hypothetical scenario you guys see coming? Do you think fingerprinting (DNA's predecessor arguably) had significant misuse and if so, what?
As I said before, I don't know what the scenario is, but DNA is private and valuable enough that I am convinced someone will come up with it.

I already think its unfortunate that - for instance - people who donated sperm under conditions of anonymity back in the days before DNA analysis are now being outed as biological parents with utter disregard for how they feel about it. This doesn't personally affect me, but it troubles me, and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come.
 

katanaD

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I don't know what the scenario is, but DNA is private and valuable enough that I am convinced someone will come up with it.


thats easy. insurance companies getting their hands on it and using it to find people genetically inclined for certain diseases, and.. adjusting.. insurance rates accordingly, if not outright denying
 

horskh

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
134
thats easy. insurance companies getting their hands on it and using it to find people genetically inclined for certain diseases, and.. adjusting.. insurance rates accordingly, if not outright denying
If this were allowed, it would be an indirect route to eugenics.
 

motomonkey

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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So you are telling me, Flu, TB, HIV, Aids, Zika Virus etc all came from nothing but thin air, if they get a sizable Sample of peoples DNA, they have just moved one step close to killing us all. and they will patent it, so nobody can come up with a cure, like they always do.

first off, who the fuck is “They”?

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, not two separate diseases, and is a fairly recent disease, but still predates the advent of genetic modification required to produce a virus. Zika virus was discovered in 1947, Tuberculosis has been killing people for a very long time, with the bacteria being detected in remains dating 17000 years ago. influenza has also been around a long time.

Implying these are recent diseases produced by “ them” for some neferious purpose is the worst sort of tin foil hat foolishness.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

Death Incarnate
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
17,469
The article said that it's on a case by case basis and has been fewer than 10 since November.

I'm 100% for this, if you did something wrong, you're not going to use one of these kits. Period. If you did something bad and do use one of these kits, you're kinda dumb and asking for it.
There are tons of cold cases out there that need to be solved, and this is a tool that can and should be used.

Also, they're not selling the information to a 3rd party, so, they're not violating their tagline.
so the company lied saying they do not share with anyone and then turn around and share it? That is not morally or ethically sound.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,591
The problem I have is that defendants don't have massive government assets to balance the prosecutors. DA's have let people rot or fought DNA testing that exonerated the imprisoned. Because of our adversarial system, the Police and DA's job is to get a conviction, not find the truth. They are not judge nor jury and feel no qualms about looking at the situation as 'making the sale'.

There's a false association that DNA Match = guilt or innocence when its just part of the puzzle. So they will find someone who match some DNA somewhere and they already of the basis for a case beyond just placing them there by a camera or other method when it doesn't.
 

mope54

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
7,437
The problem I have is that defendants don't have massive government assets to balance the prosecutors. DA's have let people rot or fought DNA testing that exonerated the imprisoned. Because of our adversarial system, the Police and DA's job is to get a conviction, not find the truth. They are not judge nor jury and feel no qualms about looking at the situation as 'making the sale'.

There's a false association that DNA Match = guilt or innocence when its just part of the puzzle. So they will find someone who match some DNA somewhere and they already of the basis for a case beyond just placing them there by a camera or other method when it doesn't.
The worst part is how the law works in favor of the prosecution in cases like this: they are required to provide defense with exculpatory evidence (evidence showing the defendant isn't guilty) but they aren't required to test anything.

So the state has resources to do DNA testing, but doesn't have to. They also have these 3rd party corporations offering to do it for them, but the defense doesn't have access to these same resources. If the DNA isn't likely to match, the prosecution won't bother testing it and will instead rely on indirect evidence of guilt.

anecdote:
Had a client in the 90s during the height of the drug war. Police busted a party, literally chased someone down a hallway who threw a scale into the bathroom before cutting left and jumping out a bedroom window. They dug around the medicine cabinet and found "white substance" (which tested out to be vitamins) and threw that on the scale for the crime scene photograph (not speculation; they actually provided the judge with a picture without anything on the scale and then half a dozen pictures with pot on it from one of the party goers, a knife next to it from another partygoer, and the "white powder" on it staged like a pile of meth. Objected to the obvious doctoring of evidence, judge said to take it up in appeals as he wanted to see the "breadth of offenses in the building" (WTF HAHAHA, definitely a new one). The police got all the way to the window, went back to the living room, grabbed client and threatened him to tell him who they had chased out the window. When he didn't (coudn't) tell them who it was, they said it might as well be his then. He made the mistake of saying that they must have seen him pull into the driveway when he came home from work about ten minutes ago (roommates were throwing a party) so surely they knew he had just arrived? And he didn't have anything to do with any of that stuff in the bathroom, because they just chased the guy down the hallway and to make matters worse hadn't touched any of it...go ahead and test it he said not realizing the consequences of what he had done to himself.

So here are the consequences:
The police testified that while they had seen the car parking, they couldn't be *certain* it was the defendant.
The police testified that they had found the scale but didn't bother test it for either drug residue or identification (didn't print it, etc.); same with the "white powder;" they wouldn't test it because if it's not drugs they have to tell us, if it is drugs it's evidence so I think the public expects they'd test it. The problem here, however, is that it doesn't need to actually be drugs to be considered as evidence for selling or manufacturing those drugs because you can be convicted of selling/manufacturing something as a precursor or just flat out as the substance even if what you're selling on the street corner is really aspirin.
Then they dropped the dooziest of them all (and why this case sticks in my memory above so many others like it): when questioned as to why the defendant was sitting here when they had literally chased someone down the hall and out the window while he was sitting in the living room when his partners started questioning everyone (relatively instantaneous: cops rush in the door, one runs down the hall, three others round the living room up and sit them on the couch--that's the evidence in front of the court) the officer said: I can't be certain who it was or wasn't running down that hallway and out that window. "But you know it can't be the defendant, right? Because he was being questioned in the living room?" No, I can't say that with any certainty because he could have jumped out the window, ran around the apartment building, and come back inside the front door.

riiiiiight

moving along...finally won on appeal but it took four years to get it in front of a judge to render an opinion in about five minutes flat, "son, I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can't believe this case made it this far. I look at the first page and half a dozen violations of your rights jump out at me...and that's ignoring the implausible explanation of your "involvement" if I can even call it that. The best thing I can do for you and the interest of justice is to order your immediate release." He was transferred to jail where the county sat on his case for a month deciding how they were going to proceed, tried to cut a deal with him to plea out a simple possession, we'd already had him enrolled in college by then and a simple possession would have rendered him ineligible for student aid so the DA eventually dismissed the case entirely in the "interest of justice." Gotta love that interest of justice :\

The police are still, to this day, convinced he was guilty of *something* that day. This isn't much different from the DAs who are interviewed on camera after people I know manage to get prisoners exonerations from decades old DNA (same story here: police already had "the guy(s)" so didn't bother testing the DNA even though it's been logged into evidence. Certain professionals, like Innocence Project, get a hold of that DNA evidence, test it, confirm factual innocence (can't possibly be the person--not technicalities arguments to be clear), and then try to secure a release (which is hard, even factual innocence isn't a get out of jail free card; still have to fight to get the evidence into consideration. Another important factoid lay persons probably don't know is that appeals courts aren't places to present new evidence or argue the case, but rather to identify any procedural errors and those errors must have been preserved on the record ("object" in record; hard to do when you're asleep like a number of cases in Texas in particular where appellate courts have ruled that sleeping attorneys is not sufficient evidence that they did not receive adequate counsel...because adequate counsel doesn't mean everyone is entitled to the same expert defense, dontcha know?) We gotta give you a lawyer, we don't gotta give you a "good" one as if sleeping during a trial is a good vs. bad attorney argument. I'd be lol'ing if this wasn't so tragic. The "appeals" trial I referenced earlier was actually a post-conviction release hearing, which is different but it's part of an appeal process (an entirely different thread of how that appeal process is used and abused to prevent timely challenges of unlawful incarceration) so I didn't want to muddy the waters with the minutiae.

Anyway, when those people do manage to get exonerated the DAs say, right on camera if you watch any of those exoneration specials, well we don't know they weren't there, do we? The cigarette butt we used to convict the man didn't have his DNA, but that doesn't mean anything really.

That's why I said earlier in the thread to read the statements from DAs and police to understand how they will view any evidence that tends to point to innocence (once they've set their aim on you...they don't keep exhausting more leads to narrow it down to you; this is one of the major points those of us who do this work hammer on--the real killer or rapist is still out there because incarcerating innocent people doesn't ring the same bells as someone dangerous still being out there).


This turned into a much too long post. Decades of personal, professional, and academic experience have demonstrated to me that all the checks and balances many of us grew up believing were baked into the system have been carved out (if they ever truly existed). I don't think many will get this deep into my post, but I have to say whether this kind of stuff will or won't be a good idea in the long run, *right now* it's a dangerous path to allow. Very dangerous. Our laws are not equipped to deal with the technological innovations that are happening faster than the law can adapt. I called it culture lag in another thread. Here's another permutation of that phenomenon.
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,589
I have a friend who in-depth researched her family tree back over 800 years and somehow there is a black ancestor snuck in there according to her gifted 'dna test' lol. Just like every other test of very white people I know of getting Jewish or black DNA thrown in at a token 1% every time. Total horse shit and I wouldn't trust these more than a tabloid mag. If you want a real DNA test save up a few grand and take it to a proper lab, these are an absolute joke and a money grab at best.

Something to note they didn't do this when they were a smaller company, it was only after the usual alcu xyz kvetching began that this happened in more recent times.
 

motomonkey

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
1,460
The worst part is how the law works in favor of the prosecution in cases like this: they are required to provide defense with exculpatory evidence (evidence showing the defendant isn't guilty) but they aren't required to test anything.

So the state has resources to do DNA testing, but doesn't have to. They also have these 3rd party corporations offering to do it for them, but the defense doesn't have access to these same resources. If the DNA isn't likely to match, the prosecution won't bother testing it and will instead rely on indirect evidence of guilt.

anecdote:
Had a client in the 90s during the height of the drug war. Police busted a party, literally chased someone down a hallway who threw a scale into the bathroom before cutting left and jumping out a bedroom window. They dug around the medicine cabinet and found "white substance" (which tested out to be vitamins) and threw that on the scale for the crime scene photograph (not speculation; they actually provided the judge with a picture without anything on the scale and then half a dozen pictures with pot on it from one of the party goers, a knife next to it from another partygoer, and the "white powder" on it staged like a pile of meth. Objected to the obvious doctoring of evidence, judge said to take it up in appeals as he wanted to see the "breadth of offenses in the building" (WTF HAHAHA, definitely a new one). The police got all the way to the window, went back to the living room, grabbed client and threatened him to tell him who they had chased out the window. When he didn't (coudn't) tell them who it was, they said it might as well be his then. He made the mistake of saying that they must have seen him pull into the driveway when he came home from work about ten minutes ago (roommates were throwing a party) so surely they knew he had just arrived? And he didn't have anything to do with any of that stuff in the bathroom, because they just chased the guy down the hallway and to make matters worse hadn't touched any of it...go ahead and test it he said not realizing the consequences of what he had done to himself.

So here are the consequences:
The police testified that while they had seen the car parking, they couldn't be *certain* it was the defendant.
The police testified that they had found the scale but didn't bother test it for either drug residue or identification (didn't print it, etc.); same with the "white powder;" they wouldn't test it because if it's not drugs they have to tell us, if it is drugs it's evidence so I think the public expects they'd test it. The problem here, however, is that it doesn't need to actually be drugs to be considered as evidence for selling or manufacturing those drugs because you can be convicted of selling/manufacturing something as a precursor or just flat out as the substance even if what you're selling on the street corner is really aspirin.
Then they dropped the dooziest of them all (and why this case sticks in my memory above so many others like it): when questioned as to why the defendant was sitting here when they had literally chased someone down the hall and out the window while he was sitting in the living room when his partners started questioning everyone (relatively instantaneous: cops rush in the door, one runs down the hall, three others round the living room up and sit them on the couch--that's the evidence in front of the court) the officer said: I can't be certain who it was or wasn't running down that hallway and out that window. "But you know it can't be the defendant, right? Because he was being questioned in the living room?" No, I can't say that with any certainty because he could have jumped out the window, ran around the apartment building, and come back inside the front door.

riiiiiight

moving along...finally won on appeal but it took four years to get it in front of a judge to render an opinion in about five minutes flat, "son, I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can't believe this case made it this far. I look at the first page and half a dozen violations of your rights jump out at me...and that's ignoring the implausible explanation of your "involvement" if I can even call it that. The best thing I can do for you and the interest of justice is to order your immediate release." He was transferred to jail where the county sat on his case for a month deciding how they were going to proceed, tried to cut a deal with him to plea out a simple possession, we'd already had him enrolled in college by then and a simple possession would have rendered him ineligible for student aid so the DA eventually dismissed the case entirely in the "interest of justice." Gotta love that interest of justice :\

The police are still, to this day, convinced he was guilty of *something* that day. This isn't much different from the DAs who are interviewed on camera after people I know manage to get prisoners exonerations from decades old DNA (same story here: police already had "the guy(s)" so didn't bother testing the DNA even though it's been logged into evidence. Certain professionals, like Innocence Project, get a hold of that DNA evidence, test it, confirm factual innocence (can't possibly be the person--not technicalities arguments to be clear), and then try to secure a release (which is hard, even factual innocence isn't a get out of jail free card; still have to fight to get the evidence into consideration. Another important factoid lay persons probably don't know is that appeals courts aren't places to present new evidence or argue the case, but rather to identify any procedural errors and those errors must have been preserved on the record ("object" in record; hard to do when you're asleep like a number of cases in Texas in particular where appellate courts have ruled that sleeping attorneys is not sufficient evidence that they did not receive adequate counsel...because adequate counsel doesn't mean everyone is entitled to the same expert defense, dontcha know?) We gotta give you a lawyer, we don't gotta give you a "good" one as if sleeping during a trial is a good vs. bad attorney argument. I'd be lol'ing if this wasn't so tragic. The "appeals" trial I referenced earlier was actually a post-conviction release hearing, which is different but it's part of an appeal process (an entirely different thread of how that appeal process is used and abused to prevent timely challenges of unlawful incarceration) so I didn't want to muddy the waters with the minutiae.

Anyway, when those people do manage to get exonerated the DAs say, right on camera if you watch any of those exoneration specials, well we don't know they weren't there, do we? The cigarette butt we used to convict the man didn't have his DNA, but that doesn't mean anything really.

That's why I said earlier in the thread to read the statements from DAs and police to understand how they will view any evidence that tends to point to innocence (once they've set their aim on you...they don't keep exhausting more leads to narrow it down to you; this is one of the major points those of us who do this work hammer on--the real killer or rapist is still out there because incarcerating innocent people doesn't ring the same bells as someone dangerous still being out there).


This turned into a much too long post. Decades of personal, professional, and academic experience have demonstrated to me that all the checks and balances many of us grew up believing were baked into the system have been carved out (if they ever truly existed). I don't think many will get this deep into my post, but I have to say whether this kind of stuff will or won't be a good idea in the long run, *right now* it's a dangerous path to allow. Very dangerous. Our laws are not equipped to deal with the technological innovations that are happening faster than the law can adapt. I called it culture lag in another thread. Here's another permutation of that phenomenon.

Unless you have had to deal with the legal system from the wrong end, people really don't know.

Shortly after I was discharged from the Army, I had moved back in with my parents for a while. My father and I had went deer hunting on his property that fall, and both of us had taken a deer. I can recall shortly after I had got mine, I could hear our neighbor yelling at me to get off her property. we were easily a hundred yards from the property line, and didn't think a lot about it, she was old, cranky, and borderline senile. Unfortunately, one of her sons was an attorney.

I had came home from work one day that spring, when a State trooper pulls up, asks my dad and I our names and says, "Sorry boys, I have a warrant for your arrest for criminal trespassing". we spent several hours at the county jail before the bail bondsman sent us home on our own recognizance.

Wow. yeah, this crazy old lady gets her son to talk to the judge, who signs a warrant. the county Sheriff evidently refused to serve the warrant, but the son kept pushing and forced the state police to drag us off to jail and 6 months after the supposed offence we were arrested. I've never seen a police officer act so embarrassed to do his job before or since.

Luckily, the old lady died before it went to trial, her attorney never bothered to show up in court and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

That's all it takes, one person that can convince a judge you are a criminal, and off to jail you go.
 

ewb302

Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
727
Yep, lots of people falsely/incorrectly accused for crimes. The DNA thing though has been typically used to solve old rape and murder cases that had gone cold. They had old DNA evidence on file but were not able to make a match when the case was new (or technology didn't exist, etc).

Humans are now voluntarily signing up and submitting their DNA for informational and entertainment purposes. These companies are just building a big database to sell to 3rd parties. I'm all for solving cold case crimes, but I hate personal information being sold for purposes of profit. I wouldn't even trust that those DNA results are accurate, probably just an entertainment novelty for all we know. I'm not running to submit my DNA sample, I'll tell you that.
 

alxlwson

You Know Where I Live
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
7,006
I understand the outrage. But, having been in the military, the FBI already has my special double helices.

It's kind of a drag, really. Every crime I've ever really thought about committing, it would just be way too hard to keep my fingerprints and DNA from the crime scene.
When I submitted my blood and prints at MEPS, they stated those were used for body identification only. They also stated once you were discharged/separated, that those cards and associated data would be destroyed.
 
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