Maryland bill would further curb police use of DNA databases

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s legislature is considering expanding restrictions on how law enforcement uses DNA databases to identify criminal suspects.

Maryland is the only state that already prohibits police from using familial DNA searches of samples within criminal databases. Del. Charles Sydnor tells The Daily Record that using commercially available databases like AncestryDNA or 23andMe would undermine that law and violate Marylanders’ constitutional rights.

His legislation would extend the ban to include those private, commercial databases.

With familial DNA searches, police use samples from unknown suspects to find potential relatives. California investigators used such a search to help crack the Golden State Killer cold case last year.

Speaking on behalf of associations representing Maryland police chiefs and sheriffs, John Fitzgerald called the bill a mistake, saying customers upload their data voluntarily.

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Information from: The Daily Record of Baltimore, http://www.thedailyrecord.com

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