DNA Testing and Law Enforcement: Background information when reading The Lost Family

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The Lost Family

How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are

by Libby Copeland

The Lost Family by Libby Copeland X
The Lost Family by Libby Copeland
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2020, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2021, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Herschbach
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About this Book

DNA Testing and Law Enforcement

This article relates to The Lost Family

Evidence room storage for the Golden State Killer case In The Lost Family, Libby Copeland examines some of the complex issues surrounding commercial DNA testing, including concerns about privacy and consent. To what extent should we be comfortable entrusting our DNA to powerful corporations that can take our most intimate information—our genetic data—and put it to uses we aren't even aware of and often can't control?

From the advent of consumer DNA testing, privacy experts have warned that the seemingly simple act of sending in a saliva sample or a cheek swab for genetic analysis can set off a chain of unintended consequences. A powerful reminder of such unforeseen applications came in April 2018, when authorities announced the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, alleged to be the Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker), the perpetrator of a string of violent crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s.

Law enforcement officers were able to tie DeAngelo to the decades-old ...

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