You have matched to new relatives. One’s an unnamed killer. One’s a fake DNA bot.

You have matched to new One’s an unnamed killer. One’s a fake DNA bot.

Curated via Twitter from NYTimes Tech’s twitter account….

Scientists and genealogists say the GEDmatch breach — which exposed more than a million additional profiles to law enforcement officials — offers an important window into what can go wrong when those responsible for storing genetic information fail to take necessary precautions. In an interview, Mr.

As police departments rushed to reinvestigate cold cases, GEDmatch, which at the time was run by two family history hobbyists as a sort of passion project, tried to serve two audiences: genealogists who simply wanted to trace their family tree and law enforcement officials who wanted to know if a murder or a rapist was hiding in one of its branches.

In a paper published last year, Michael Edge, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California, and fellow researchers warned several genealogy websites that they were vulnerable to data breaches. “Of course, hacks happen to lots of companies, even entities that take security very seriously,” he said. “At the same time, GEDmatch’s, and eventually Verogen’s, response to our paper didn’t inspire much confidence that they were taking it seriously. ” Other genealogy websites, he added, seemed more open to the researchers’ recommendations for improving security.

GEDmatch, a longstanding family history site containing around 1. 4 million people’s genetic information, had experienced a data breach.

After the authorities in California used GEDmatch in 2018 to identify a suspect in the decades-long Golden State Killer case, police departments across the country began to dig through their cold case files in the hopes that this new technique could solve old crimes.

Amid a backlash, GEDmatch changed its policy in May 2019 so that only users who explicitly opted to help law enforcement would show up in police searches.

But users found the new profiles strange because they also knew that profiles made for law enforcement purposes were supposed to be hidden to prevent tipping off or upsetting a suspect’s relatives amid an investigation.

Link to original article….

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this:
scroll to top