Wednesday, November 25, 2020

New Zealand Law Commission report on genetic genealogy, DNA, and the Police

New Zealand was the second national jurisdiction to institute legislation on the Police use of DNA. Recently the NZ Law Commission made a new report with 193 recommendations on DNA use and genetic genealogy for Police purposes. The Report recommends that more attention be given to Maori, Treaty of Watangi, and human rights issues. The report is available at The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations.

This issue has arisen within the genetic genealogy community due to the rise of forensic, or investigative genetic genealogy, in regard to Gedmatch and Family Tree DNA. At Gedmatch one has to opt-in to allow law enforecement use (see, "Public + opt-in" and "Public + opt-out") and at FTDNA one has to opt-out to deny law enforcement use of your genetic data in criminal investigations.

It will be interesting to see if the NZ Law Commission Report has any effects within the broader genetic genealogy community and the GDPR and CCPA legal regimes.


Unknown said...

Agreed. With the recent gedmatch hack one has to be more careful while uploading data to third party sites.

Lovinci said...

I'm not sure.
On the one hand, yes, you have to be more careful. I have also withdrawn my uploaded DNA from Gedmatch and FTDNA.
But on the other hand: The more databases you are in, the greater is the chance to find long lost cousins. E.g. MyHeritage stresses the user's privacy, and they have a lot of European uploads.