Search warrant overrides 1M users’ choice not to share DNA with cops

Kate Cox

Law enforcement agencies around the country have for the past few years eagerly latched onto consumer-facing DNA sites as a rich repository of information to help them close cases. Many of those sites have been allowing users to adopt privacy settings and restricting what data they allow police to access, but a first-of-its-kind search warrant may blow those users’ data banks wide open.

Police in Orlando, Florida, obtained a warrant this summer to search DNA site GEDmatch and review data on all of its users—about a million people, The New York Times reports. Privacy advocates are now concerned that police will continue to get broad warrants for DNA sites, including larger peers such as 23andme or Ancestry that have much larger pools of user data.