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Date

5-6-2020

Description

With increasing accessibility to at-home DNA testing kits, the ability to find out your ancestral heritage is easier than ever. But at what cost to you and your family's privacy? Unsolved criminal investigation (Cold cases) are now able to be solved by using 3rd and 4th cousin DNA samples from individuals who have legally consented to upload their information to a database, which police also have access to. This study will be examining a case from Melbourne Florida, where the local police have partnered with a privately owned laboratory to begin building a crime DNA database for the police department of Melbourne. An officer came across a car with five juvenile boys between the ages of 15-16 in 2016. He confronted the boys about multiple car break-ins in the area at the time. After further questioning, he then demanded that one of them provide a DNA sample, which one of the 15-year-olds did. The major issues raised with this case study is the lack of communication and transparency from the interaction between the officer and the boys. Along with the boys are minors who consented to give a DNA sample without parents present. That is why this literature review aims to apply Beauchamp and Childress's principles of biomedical ethics to examine the issues of privacy, profiling, and accessibility to local law enforcement. This literature review is to provide knowledge about current ethical considerations and practices in working with DNA databases to inform policymakers and the general public.

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May 6th, 12:00 AM

Privacy, Profiling, and Accessibility: The Ethics of DNA Databases

With increasing accessibility to at-home DNA testing kits, the ability to find out your ancestral heritage is easier than ever. But at what cost to you and your family's privacy? Unsolved criminal investigation (Cold cases) are now able to be solved by using 3rd and 4th cousin DNA samples from individuals who have legally consented to upload their information to a database, which police also have access to. This study will be examining a case from Melbourne Florida, where the local police have partnered with a privately owned laboratory to begin building a crime DNA database for the police department of Melbourne. An officer came across a car with five juvenile boys between the ages of 15-16 in 2016. He confronted the boys about multiple car break-ins in the area at the time. After further questioning, he then demanded that one of them provide a DNA sample, which one of the 15-year-olds did. The major issues raised with this case study is the lack of communication and transparency from the interaction between the officer and the boys. Along with the boys are minors who consented to give a DNA sample without parents present. That is why this literature review aims to apply Beauchamp and Childress's principles of biomedical ethics to examine the issues of privacy, profiling, and accessibility to local law enforcement. This literature review is to provide knowledge about current ethical considerations and practices in working with DNA databases to inform policymakers and the general public.