State Courts Strike Blows to Criminal DNA Collection Laws in 2014—What to Look for in 2015: DNA can reveal an extraordinary amount of private information about you, including familial relationships, medical history, predisposition for disease, and possibly even behavioral tendencies and sexual orientation. While DNA testing in a criminal context has some benefits—such as supporting innocence claims—the mass, suspicionless collection, testing, and storing of genetic material from large populations creates a danger for privacy that only grows with each new scientific discovery in the field of genomics. In this post, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch discusses state and federal cases that addressed DNA collection in 2014, following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Maryland v. King.
2014 was a banner year for DNA cases. In the wake of Maryland v. King—the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection from arrestees under Maryland state law—the constitutionality of DNA collection in the criminal context has continued to present challenging issues for courts.