Will Guzzardi of the Huffington Post reports on a bill recently passed by the Illinois legislature which would allow DNA samples to be collected from individuals arrested of certain crimes, and compiled into a state registry:
Privacy groups, though, have expressed consternation at the idea of an expanded DNA database that could move the state and nation closer to genetic surveillance.
"A lot of the debate on this subject confuses this notion that DNA is just like a fingerprint," Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy at the ACLU of Illinois told HuffPost Chicago. "A fingerprint is just to identify someone. DNA contains your entire genetic information, sensitive information about health issues, not only for you but also for close family members."
Still, Ed Yohnka of the ACLU had his doubts. When asked if the proposed law was legal, he said, "We think it may not be.
"We think it raises serious questions about the explicit privacy protections that are contained in the Illinois Constitution," he added.
The Illinois Constitution does indeed contain more stringent privacy protections than federal law. The current state constitution was adopted in 1970, and because of its relative modernity, it was careful to carve out personal privacy more explicitly than others.