The Expanding Use of DNA in Law Enforcement: What Role for Privacy?
Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 34, pp. 153-164, Summer 2006
12 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2009 Last revised: 28 Feb 2014
Date Written: June 21, 2006
DNA identification methods are such an established part of our law enforcement and criminal justice systems it is hard to believe that the technologies were developed as recently as the mid-1980s, and that the databases of law enforcement profiles were established in the 1990s. Although the first databases were limited to the DNA profiles of convicted rapists and murderers, the success of these databases in solving violent crimes provided the impetus for Congress and state legislatures to expand the scope of the databases with little critical examination of each expansion’s value to law enforcement or cost to privacy and civil liberties.
Keywords: DNA, forensics, law enforcement, genetics, databases, search and seizure, privacy
JEL Classification: K31, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation