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GEDmatch Opts Out

GEDmatch changed its terms and conditions over the weekend to opt its users out of being a part of law enforcement searches, New Scientist reports. It adds, though, that users can opt in to being a part of such searches if they wish.

The database has been a key tool in a number of recent genetic genealogy-based arrests, including the Golden State Killer case. But it has also raised a number of privacy concerns. Last May, GEDmatch changed its terms and conditions to note that that law enforcement could upload DNA as part of an investigation into a homicide or sexual assault, or to identify human remains.

But now it has now revised them again, according to New Scientist. This, it reports, comes on the heels of the firm making an exception to its homicide or sexual assault clause to allow Utah police to search its site in the case of a 71-year-old woman who had been beaten.

This shift toward opting in places the field on sturdier ethical ground, writes the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, at her blog, as now users will make an informed choice to be part of searches.