A Commercial DNA Testing Company Wants to Team With New York Police to Find Criminals, But Privacy Advocates Fear A Genetic Dragnet

New York State is on the verge of approving investigative DNA testing by a private company that can identity up to nine degrees of relatives based on a genetic sample—and which uses commercial databases containing the DNA of thousands of Americans—to assist law enforcement, Bronx Justice News has learned.
The Department of Health expects to approve licenses for Parabon NanoLabs—a Virginia-based company that markets forensic genealogical testing and consultant work to law enforcement—as well as a separate lab that handles most of Parabon’s DNA samples, once all required documentation is reviewed, Dr. Anne Walsh, Associate Director for Medical Affairs at the state Department of Health and head of DOH’s forensic identity section, said at a state forensic science commission meeting last month.