CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, November 7, 2019

"Legal aspects of the GEDmatch warrant"

Orin Kerr has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy. In part:

Under the policy, if you or I want to search GEDmatch, we can. But if police officers want to search it, they have to tell GEDmatch that they are police officers.  GEDmatch then only lets the officers search the profiles of users that have affirmatively opted in to having their profiles searched by the police. It's sort of like a bar or restaurant putting up a sign saying that police aren't welcome. Anyone can enter except for the police, who have to declare they are the police and then can't go inside.

According to the story, a Florida detective wanted to search the same database as anyone else could.  Presumably he could have gone undercover and pretended he was not a detective, as on the Internet, no one know you're a cop.  Instead, the detective obtained a warrant requiring GEDmatch to "override the privacy settings" of GEDmatch and let him search like a civilian.

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