Popular DNA Testing Company Gives FBI Access To Database
A popular genetic testing company is allowing the FBI to comb through its DNA databases, according to a source from Buzzfeed news. The company, Family Tree DNA, allows consumers to learn more about their ancestry by submitting their DNA samples through the mail.
I know, we are all shocked. Who would have ever considered that a DNA testing company might work with our government to exploit our freedoms? Only conspiracy theorists, I suppose.
The FBI uses the guise of “crime solving” to gain access to DNA from Family Tree DNA’s database. When you send your DNA to find out if you are potentially .002% Mongolian, you get the added benefit of increased safety and security, apparently.
The situation is worsened when you consider that DNA of one family member can be used to track relatives. So yes, if Uncle Bob announced via your family email chain that he is excited to learn he’s .0004% Taiwanese and he’s allergic to gluten, you’re potentially exposed to privacy breaches just as well.
The FBI doesn’t have free reign to pull DNA, or so that’s the pitch. But the precedent is being set nevertheless. The FBI believes this to be the new front for fighting a war against cold cases. According to Family Tree DNA, access to DNA samples “would help law enforcement agencies solve violent crimes faster than ever.”
Let us recall, big pharma struck a $300 million dollar deal with another popular DNA company. When do our shock and surprise end?
So here’s how the privacy scam works.
Family Tree DNA and the FBI have an agreement to go on a case-by-case basis. So while Family Tree DNA claims it doesn’t allow the FBI full-access, it seems they merely have to make a request to gain approval. Following that, what type of access the FBI is granted is unclear (because, of course). Family Tree DNA claims it has only given the access less than 10 times (that’s comforting).
Family Tree DNA And FBI Form Cozy Slippery Slope
If you are looking for the most glaring example of a slippery slope case, look no further, you’ve landed upon it.
The FBI is able to access consumer DNA on a “case-by-case” basis under the guise of helping to protect society. But to what end does this protection “serve the people?”
Right now, the pitch is that DNA access helps to solve cold cases. It helps to protect us. The problem is, what we “need to be protected” from will morph given time. We’ve already seen that.
The FBI need only make a simple pitch and qualify their need for access with “it will better help protect citizens.”
Family Tree DNA is committing the ultimate act of consumer fraud. Yet millions of people will continue to mail in their DNA in hopes of learning more about their potential for ancestry information.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.