Crowdsourced and crowdfunded: the future of forensic DNA?

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Forensic DNA analysis is dependent on comparing the known and the unknown. Expand the number of known profiles, and the likelihood of a successful match increases. Forensic use of DNA is moving towards comparing samples of unknown origin with publicly available genetic data, such as the records held by genetic genealogy providers. Use of forensic genetic genealogy has yielded a number of recent high-profile successes but has raised ethical and privacy concerns. Navigating family trees is complex, even more so when combined with a comparison of genetic relationships. This intelligence-gathering process has led to occasional false leads, and its use also risks a public backlash, similar to concerns over Cambridge Analytica. A cautious approach to use of this technique is therefore warranted.




Scudder, N., Robertson, J., Kelty, S. F., Walsh, S. J., & McNevin, D. (2020, March 3). Crowdsourced and crowdfunded: the future of forensic DNA? Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. Taylor and Francis Ltd.

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