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News Posted on June 18, 2019

Professor Joh writes in New York Times, talks to Washington Post, about police using website DNA

Professor Elizabeth Joh wrote a June 11 op-ed for the New York Times questioning law enforcement’s increasing use of genealogy websites to track down suspects via familial DNA.

"Legitimate consent to the government's use of an entire family tree should involve more than just a single person clicking 'yes' to a website's terms and conditions," Joh wrote in the piece, headlined “Want to See My Genes? Get a Warrant.” Read the op-ed:

The day before, Joh was quoted in a Washington Post story on the same topic. Joh said she thinks legislation is needed to establish limits on police use of DNA.

“There’s very little in the way of rules in terms of what’s permitted and what isn’t,” Joh told the Post. “It’s still relatively new, and the kind of cases that have thus far been solved are the kinds of cases I think most people want to have solved. But that doesn’t answer the question of what the limits should be on what the government can do.” Read the story:

Professor Joh's scholarship focuses on criminal procedure and policing, with a special emphasis on DNA evidence, undercover policing, and new surveillance technologies. She is the recipient of King Hall’s 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award.