Analyzing and indefinitely keeping the DNA profiles of thousands of Californians arrested for felonies, but never charged with a crime, is not just an ominously overbroad practice by law enforcement—it’s an invasion of privacy that violates the state’s constitution. Last year EFF and our co-counsel Michael Risher filed a lawsuit against California challenging its DNA retention and search practices on behalf of the Center for Genetics and Society, the Equal Justice Society, and an individual plaintiff, writer and editor Pete Shanks.
Attorneys for the state responded to the case by telling a judge there’s no basis for it, no law is being broken, and it should be dismissed. This is simply wrong. We asked the judge this week to reject the state’s callous indifference to the privacy rights of Californians and its attempt to sweep its conduct under the rug.
DNA can reveal a vast array of highly private information, including family relationships, ethnicity, physical characteristics, illnesses, and genetic traits. People have a right to expect that this information will remain private and out of the hands...