Per the LA Times link in post #14 ...
The researchers behind the new study say that once 3 million Americans have uploaded their genomes to public genealogy websites, nearly everyone in the U.S. would be identifiable by their DNA alone and just a few additional clues.
More than 1 million Americans have already published their genetic information, and dozens more do so every day.
"People have been wondering how long it will be before you can use DNA to detect just about anybody," said Ruth Dickover, director of the forensic science program at UC Davis who was not involved with the study. "The authors are saying it's not going to take that long."
So far, 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo is the most famous person to be identified this way. You may know him better as the suspected Golden State Killer, charged with 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted kidnapping.
When law enforcement officials used a publicly accessible DNA database to catch DeAngelo in April, it was only the second time in crime-solving history that the strategy was implemented successfully.
Since then, at least 13 additional suspected criminals have been identified in the same way.
"The solving of the Golden State Killer case opened this method up as a possibility and other crime labs are taking advantage of it," Dickover said. "Clearly a trend has started."
But as more of us upload DNA to publicly searchable databases, the implications can be creepy.
"When the police caught the Golden State Killer, that was a very good day for humanity," Erlich said. "The problem is that the very same strategy can be misused."
Think of foreign governments using this technique to track down American citizens, he said. Or protesters and activists being pursued in this way.
Just a matter of time before this all gets twisted.