GEDmatch, the Controversial Genealogy Website that Helped Crack the Golden State Killer Case, has been Bought by a Forensic Genetics Firm

Late breaking news: Crime scene DNA sequencing company Verogen has just acquired GEDmatch, a genealogy database credited with helping to solve some 70 rapes and murders.

Verogen, a San Diego-based company that provides equipment for high-tech sequencing of crime-scene DNA, has announced that it has acquired GEDmatch, a website that rose to fame after it led cops to the alleged Golden State Killer.

(You can read about GEDmatch’s genealogy DNA matching web site in previous articles in this newsletter by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+gedmatch&t=brave&ia=web.)

GEDmatch has been caught in the crossfire of a bitter argument between genealogists who believe the site has compromised its users’ privacy and those who want to work with law enforcement to help solve violent crimes.

Although GEDmatch’s new owner is a forensic science company, it is promising a firm line on protecting users who don’t want cops to access their genetic information. “We are very committed to privacy,” Verogen CEO Brett Williams told BuzzFeed News.

You can read more in an article by Peter Aldhous in the BuzzFeed News web site at: http://bit.ly/2YxWJvG.

2 Comments

Now that a court has upheld a law enforcement agency’s subpoena to access private DNA info on genealogy DNA sites, if you want to keep things private, the only way is not to put the info anywhere where other people can access it. Even if Verogen intends to “protect” users’ private information, they probably can’t if they get a subpoena. Personally, I don’t care, but many believe that my DNA is not mine to publish, as it represents many other people.

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People are worried about GEDMatch, but they ought to worry about human error. It’s easy to contaminate DNA samples. Dallas, TX police discovered an employee at their lab had been routinely falsifying test results for years (not something they advertise).

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