FINDING YOUR ROOTS AND GETTING TANGLED IN THEM
Today, so many ways exist to invade our privacy without our knowledge, it’s almost comic to think how freely we volunteer these intimate details ourselves. Without batting an eye, we do it to find romance or search our family history.
Studies show only a 0.31 variation exists in the DNA of Homo sapiens, yet that tiny percentile identifies our individuality as accurately as a fingerprint. (“Clue to an Identity,” by Kristen V. Brown, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 15, 2019, pg. 23.) Each time a person sends away a blood or saliva sample to obtain DNA results, or to discover a long, lost relative, he or she leaves an electronic trail behind for others to follow.
Already, we’ve seen 66 unsolved crimes solved thanks to genetic research. (Ibid, pg. 22). The perpetrator needn’t have left a clue or surrendered a specimen. If a distant relative is curious about the family tree and provides a DNA sample to a company, that criminal risks being discovered.
As these DNA data bases grow, so does the potential for abuse. Already, celebrities and politicians find they are targets of people wanting to make paternity claims. To be fair, government ensures the security of its information Commercial databases, however, operate according to internal rules which makes them accountable only to themselves.
Like all advances in technology, good stuff and bad stuff happens. A person needs to consider the consequences of each new discovery