Genetic testing company Family Tree DNA is providing the US Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its genealogy database to investigate violent crimes, BuzzFeed News reports.
Law enforcement has been turning to genetic genealogy approaches to shed light on cold cases, which have led to arrests in the Golden State Killer case as well as in other murder and rape cases.
BuzzFeed News adds that Family Tree DNA's arrangement with the FBI grew out of a single case, and that the firm now has agreed, on a case-by-case basis, to perform DNA testing on samples from the FBI and upload the resulting profiles to its site. The company tells BuzzFeed News that the FBI will have the same access as any other user on the site and it if wants additional information, it needs to obtain a subpoena or search warrant.
Still, this association may raise privacy concerns for some users, particularly those who joined before this firm changed its terms of service in December, BuzzFeed News adds. While the company says users can opt out of familial matching to avoid any FBI search that would mean they are opting out of a main service feature.