DNA sites are closing their doors to police trying to solve cold cases

After an outcry, GEDmatch revamped its privacy policy and automatically restricted its more than 1.2 million DNA profiles from law enforcement searches. If a user wanted to make their genetic information available, they would have to intentionally opt-in.

“Genetic genealogists who are working cases, they are so disappointed,” said Diahan Southard, founder of Your DNA Guide, which helps people decipher and investigate the results of their DNA tests.

For law enforcement, the decision had an immediate effect.

“We’re still working cases that have data from before the opt-out,” Lori Napolitano, chief of forensic services at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) told BuzzFeed News. “But comparing what we would see in terms of matches before, to what we see in those cases now, it’s pretty drastic.”