For Cops, DNA Databases Are the New Fingerprints
Departments around the country keeping profiles
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 13, 2013 11:09 AM CDT
Many police departments are building DNA databases.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Across the country, local cops are quietly building DNA databases in much the same way they might build a fingerprint catalog, the New York Times reports. New York City has the genetic info of some 11,000 suspects on file, and Orange County, Calif., makes even that trove look tiny, with 90,000 profiles. Many of those samples came willingly from defendants as part of deals with prosecutors, but others were collected without suspects' knowledge. And the trend is sure to accelerate thanks to this Supreme Court decision.

Local law enforcement officials are sick of relying on the bigger, more established state and federal DNA databases, and say keeping their own allows them to respond faster to crimes—and keep tabs on more relevant people. But privacy advocates are worried. "We have been warning law enforcement that when public attention began to focus on these rogue unregulated databases, people would be disturbed," says an Innocence Project executive. "Law enforcement has just gone ahead … in an unregulated fashion."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
For Cops, DNA Databases Are the New Fingerprints is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 7 comments
Jun 13, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
Well my DNA swab is in a plastic bag tagged with my name and information, handwritten on that tag and with a copyright attached to a transfer of copyright document, which has been sold to other persons. I'm no criminal and if the police would like to have my DNA, They are welcome to purchase a limited access version from the owners for the large sum of $10,000.00. Or taking it without doing so they can go to court for a lawsuit in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for violation of the Federal Copyright and Trademark laws! For all the people that has unwillingly given a sample before the Supreme Court Ruling, I'm sure the Law would state it to be unlawful evidence in a court of law.. As the legal custom, normally was to grand a Search warrant before obtaining a DNA sample! Just because someone was set free by DNA doesn't mean the rest of us want to be in a data base! They can buy mine to prove my innocents! But I'm not readly to be stuffed and put on someones shelf just yet !!!
Jun 13, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
Here for the "fun of it" is what DNA can do to solve 30 murders by one man
Jun 13, 2013 11:46 AM CDT
No, DNA is not the same as fingerprints. Fingerprints are visible physical patterns. You can look at them just as you can a photograph. DNA is the instructions for the entire organism. The State should be caused to show cause why it wishes to examine what is just short of a tissue biopsy or a blood test. Arrest alone is insufficient. Many people are arrested who have done nothing whatsoever. If you are conVICTed of a crime, or if the investigation requires DNA sampling the State has standing to require it.