F.B.I. and States Vastly Expand Data Bases

DATE: 4/19/09

Source: Solomon Moore, The NY Times

SYNOPSIS: Law enforcement officials are vastly expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been arrested or detained but not yet convicted. The move, intended to help solve more crimes, is raising concerns about the privacy of petty offenders and people who are presumed innocent. … Law enforcement officials say that expanding the DNA databanks to include legally innocent people will help solve more violent crimes. … Critics are also disturbed by the demographics of DNA databases. Again Britain is instructive. According to a House of Commons report, 27 percent of black people and 42 percent of black males are genetically registered, compared with 6 percent of white people.