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Is DNA the Same as a Photograph?

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

November 1, 2010

At issue in United States v. Mitchell is one of the most important privacy rights decisions facing the courts, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether routine DNA sampling should be considered no different from fingerprinting or photographing, or whether a warrant should be required for its collection. In November 2009, U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that DNA sampling of arrestees violates the Fourth Amendment because a genetic sample can reveal much more about a person's identity than fingerprints or photographs, the report states. The U.S. Attorney's Office has argued the ruling should be reversed.
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