Just two years ago, GEDmatch was still an obscure genealogy website, known only to a million or so hobbyist DNA sleuths looking to fill in their family trees. The site was free, public, and run by two guys with a knack for writing algorithms that helped relatives find each other. All in all, it was a pretty controversy-free place.
That all changed in April of 2018, when news broke that police had used GEDmatch to identify a suspect in the 40-year-old Golden State Killer case. As the site emerged as a crime-fighting tool, some users and privacy experts began to worry about how people’s genetic data might ensnare them in criminal investigations, when all they wanted was to learn about their family history. The transition has been rocky for GEDmatch. One drama after another has engulfed the website: Police searches have grown increasingly invasive; the site’s owners tried to react with changes to its terms of service that ended up backfiring; and white-hat hackers pointed out glaring security flaws. But starting Monday, that’s all someone else’s problem.
Contact Our Office
The Orange County Public Defender is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to its website. If the format of any material on our website is not accessible due to a disability, please e-mail PDADCoordinator@circuit9.org or call (407) 836-4806.
Copyright 2020, Public Defender, Ninth Judicial Circuit. The material found on this web site is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this web site is not intended to create, nor constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.