Testimony Regarding Oversight of DNA Collection and Storage in NYC
The government’s collection and maintenance of DNA samples implicates New Yorkers’ constitutional rights to privacy, due process, reasonable search and seizure, and equal protection. Unfortunately, the collection and use of DNA by the NYPD and the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) —including surreptitious collection, the widespread collection of DNA from minors, and the maintenance of a rogue municipal database in violation of state law—run contrary to city, state, and constitutional law.
And the City’s continual neglect in setting policies governing the collection and use of New Yorkers’ DNA is flatly unacceptable. At issue is New Yorkers’ most personal information: their genetic blueprints, which can reveal everything from family relationships to ancestry to propensity for medical conditions, and hold the promise of revealing even more as technology develops further. The City’s current policies (or lack thereof) are wildly inadequate given the weighty constitutional interests at stake.
Read the full testimony below.