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Familial Searching

Genetic Surveillance

Also, a concept called “genetic surveillance” has been injected into the debate, in opposition to the use of familial DNA searching. The issue was raised during the process that led to Maryland law precluding familial DNA searching. “Because DNA is inherited, family members share a common gene pool and are likely to have similar profiles; fully appreciating this, governments are now permitting DNA databases to be searched for near matches between DNA profiles contained in databases and DNA profiles obtained from samples collected at crime scenes.” In this way, governments are expanding “genetic surveillance” beyond those individuals whose DNA is contained in the database, to wholly innocent family members. This means that if the pending bills are enacted, if you share genes with someone merely arrested for a crime, your genetic information, too, is in the state’s database, even if your relative is never convicted of a crime.”25

a blurry photo of a crowd of people with no one person distiguishable.

25 Testimony presented by Stephen Mercer, Esq. by letter dated February 15, 2008

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