Your genetic information–no privacy

23andMe and Ancestry.com may have been giving your genetic and familial information to police and FBI.

“In the event we are required by law to make a disclosure, we will notify the affected customer through the contact information provided to us, unless doing so would violate the law or a court order,” said Black by email. ~ Privacy officer Kate Black

This, my friends, is a circular argument.  Communications, 101.  “We will tell you that we are giving the information to law enforcement…unless law enforcement tells us not to…”

Yep.  It’s doublespeak and does not guarantee privacy at all.  The only thing it guarantees is that they will be a little sneakier in giving your private information out without observing the Fourth Amendment: your right to privacy against government intrusion or Sixth Amendment:  your right to hear the evidence against you and face your accusers in a court of law, with the right to present counter evidence.

I raised this question in a law class that I took — suppose that your hair was found at a location where a crime had taken place.  Someone could have easily planted the hair there.  I was scoffed at — but what they feel is hard evidence isn’t necessarily so.  As someone else pointed out — there have been cases where there was an airtight alibi and yet someone was put in jail based on DNA, which is not ironclad.

 

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