An article in The Chicago Tribune reports that the Cook County Sheriff's Office will begin taking DNA samples from inmates next month, due to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Maryland v. King. The ruling will allow the government to collect and analyze DNA samples from individuals who have been arrested, but not yet convicted, without a warrant or consent. The decision could also lead to expansion of Illinois law through legislative efforts.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois opposed the legislation in Springfield on the basis that collecting "intimate information about people who are presumed innocent" was an invasion of privacy, said spokesman Ed Yohnka. Unlike fingerprints, he said, DNA contains personal information about everything from a person's health history to heredity.
"Once that massive database (of DNA information) exists, people are going to want access to it," he said. "Once it's there, it's just a gold mine for private interests."