Can Police Access Your DNA You Send to Ancestry Services?
Millions of people have jumped on the ancestry bandwagon, so-to-speak. Most people are interested in learning more about where they come from, but now millions are getting the answers thanks to companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe. Spit in a tube, send it off in the mail and you will find out where your ancestors called home.
For many people, the act of spitting in a tube and sending off their DNA to a lab is a somewhat thoughtless process. We just do it. What people need to know, however, is that the DNA you provide could well end up in the hands of law enforcement. Finding out more about your family tree may just have you providing information you would prefer not to should you ever be subject to a criminal investigation.
Can You Protect Yourself?
So far, only one case has been reported in which a law enforcement agency secured a DNA sample from Ancestry.com, and 23andMe reports that it has not complied with several requests for samples due to a lack of search warrants. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be made easier in the future for law enforcement and customers need to be aware. Even if you don’t sent off a sample yourself, law enforcement can request samples of family members who have.
Both of these popular ancestry research companies provide a way for users to delete their DNA results from their websites. Customers rarely take advantage of this, not realizing that it’s a big deal. It is being recommended that anyone who has submitted a sample to one of these companies deletes it after they print their results. There is no need to save your profile or account once you have received the report.
Another option that some people have taken advantage of is to provide a false name when sending away for their ancestry results. Before taking this route, it is suggested that a user reads the site’s terms of service to be sure they aren’t violating any rules.
Does It Really Matter If Cops Have Access?
DNA is only one of the many ways that law enforcement officers can gather evidence against you. That said, there is no reason that you have to make it easy for them. Before you join the millions of others sending away their DNA through the mail, be sure that you understand exactly what you are doing and what you could be setting yourself up for in the future.
If you have been arrested for a crime in DeKalb County, you need an experienced defense attorney fighting by your side. Reach out to our office today and schedule a case evaluation. We have experience defending people against a variety of charges in the local area, and we will put our extensive knowledge to work for you. The consequences of a conviction could be severe. Call our office today.