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Smartphone app could help with Maryland family law matters

The phrase "they have an app for that" is one that has become fairly common over the past few years since smartphones have become increasingly popular. What may surprise some Maryland residents, however, is the fact that smartphone applications are becoming more and more relevant for family law matters as well. Now, computer scientists from one university have developed an app for the android smartphone that can actually conduct paternity tests.

The application works by holding limited amounts of genomic data that are then used to run the actual paternity tests. Those who may be worried about potential privacy issues may be relieved to learn that this application actually takes advantage of advanced encryption techniques in order to help prevent unauthorized access to people's DNA. It can reportedly produce paternity test results in less than a second once it has the relevant genomic material available for comparison.

Several individuals worked together in order to develop the smartphone app. One of the scientists who worked on developing the app has said that it demonstrates that it is possible and even practical to operate such tasks on modern-day devices that have become so commonly used. He also indicated that the app doesn't even require entire genome sequences in order to conduct the paternity testing. He stressed that security was a key concern and that cryptographic encryption techniques were used to help protect the genomic data that would be used during paternity test.

Maryland family law matters can often be challenging to negotiate. A smartphone app like this could make it easier for those who need to definitively establish the paternity of the child. Once paternity has been established, it could help pave the way for parents who wish to pursue legal matters in family law courts such as obtaining child custody rights or seeking child support for any minor children.

Source:, "Android Paternity Test App Developed by UC Irvine Computer Scientists," Brian T. Horowitz, Feb. 8, 2013

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