DNA saved the day this week, bringing the long sought-after Golden State Killer to justice. After decades of evading arrest, the serial murderer and rapist was tracked down through genealogy testing. Genetic victory, right? So why my insomnia?

Lying in bed, my thoughts slid down a slippery slope into a bad sci-fi novel. Even if you have not personally chosen to submit your DNA and family tree to a publicly available website, or a DTC genetic testing company, it is very likely that a relative of yours already has. That decision may no longer be yours. Think of it like a living, breathing genetic version of Facebook. Your annoying cousin hasn’t just tagged you and shared your unflattering photograph without your permission, he has shared the DNA that courses through your family. That genetic material can be traced back to you – and confirmed with the abandoned DNA you discard out in the world every single day.

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