CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – You might think your DNA information is safe if you have yet to try out one of the new DNA testing kits.
Local attorney Brady Vannoy says that’s not always true.
“While you may not have consented to providing your saliva and sending it off, somebody else in your family may have,” said. Vannoy.
And that’s exactly how police in Sacramento caught the Golden State Killer. A distant cousin of his took a commercial DNA test.
“They uploaded it through GED Match, and found some hits,” Vannoy said. “And then they began to shave the hits down until they found Mr. DeAngelo.”
If you want to keep yourself and your family’s DNA protected, Vannoy says to look for companies with a safeguard provision versus those that are publicly searchable.
“23 and Me and Ancestry.com require a court order for them to get any kind of profile related to you or any information such as that,” said Vannoy.
But Vannoy warns realistically, collecting your DNA can be as easy as digging through your trashcan. DNA kits just make it more convenient.
“Great tool for the police, somewhat scary for the consumer in terms of privacy,” said Vannoy.
Only if you’ve got something to hide.