DNA is different than a simple fingerprint. DNA testing discloses private health information about an individual and can be used to make predictions about that person’s physical and mental health. Employers and insurance companies might in the future use this information in a discriminatory fashion.

For this reason, the ACLU of Illinois long has opposed the forced collection of DNA from persons arrested in Illinois. Currently, DNA is collected from persons who are convicted of a crime – and that is where the line should be drawn.

Arrests reflect only one police officer’s finding of probable cause – it is not proof of guilt. Current law recognizes this distinction since Illinois employers cannot discriminate based on arrest records. Allowing DNA collection on arrest will build massive personal databases about individuals in Illinois, databases that will be disproportionately populated by ethnic minorities who, history shows, are far more likely to be arrested, often wrongfully.

Read more about HB 3238.