An article by Gavin Phillips in the MakeUseOf web site caught my eye for several reasons. The primary thrust of the article shows how the growth of alternate private genealogy databases has understandably piqued the interest of law enforcement agencies. Investigators now often use a technique known as familial searching, a technique that seeks to identify a potential suspect’s surname through DNA analysis focusing on the Y-chromosome. As a result, individuals lose their right of defense against self-incrimination simply because a male relative’s DNA information held by private businesses is easily available to law enforcement officials on a “fishing expedition.”
Privacy advocates have long warned against the creation of giant, centralized genetic databases.
Several other items are mentioned in the same article:
The article claims that the United States has an estimated 7,930,000 genealogists, the United Kingdom has 1,593,000 while Canada has 880,000. Author Gavin Phillips also gives numbers for Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland but neglects to mention the source of those numbers. Are they believable? I don’t know.
He also states that websites 23andMe and Ancestry.com both have over one million customers, while MyHeritage boasts over 80 million.
I do wish that Gavin Phillips had provided source citations for his numbers.
You can read the article at http://goo.gl/0HQ0mq.