The U.S. Supreme Courts’ latest ruling allowing police to take a DNA sample from persons arrested, but not yet convicted of a serious crime should give every American a shiver or two.
This latest invasion of privacy on the grounds that it is a valuable policing tool akin to the taking of fingerprints, is another step toward making sure that every aspect of our being is in some database where it can be analyzed and probed without out permission or in our best interest.
It’s not that we don’t believe that serious crimes call for serious measures, but often people are arrested and never charged, so there is no valid reason for the taking of their DNA for future reference just because an arrest was made.
Too often words like “serious crimes” are used to convince people to give up their freedoms, after all, it’s the bad guys being targeted, not law-abiding people like them. Mistakes have been made when identifying suspects, and they will be made again. Next time it could be you or someone you know.
Unlike a fingerprint, DNA can be used for many other things beyond identification. While we are told the data is safe and secure, yet we all seen instances of medical, financial, and so-called sealed criminal information being hacked and used for less than honorable purposes.
Police are mandated to get a court order prior to invading a person’s home so why shouldn’t the same be required for the invading of a person’s body?
It is our hope that police departments will adopt strict guidelines for what represents a serious crime before taking a person’s DNA and adding it to a registry that could impact the rest of a person’s life.