Beware! Uncle Sam has your DNA: Legal fallout from its use and misuse in the U.s [Book Review]

Technology has provided state and federal governments with huge collections of DNA samples and identifying profiles stored in databanks. That information can be used to solve crimes by matching samples from convicted felons to unsolved crimes, and has aided law enforcement in investigating and convicting suspects, and exonerating innocent felons, even after lengthy incarceration. Rights surrounding the provision of DNA samples, however, remain unclear in light of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures and privacy concerns. The courts have just begun to consider this issue, and have provided little guidance. It is unclear whether the laws governing protected health information are applicable to the instant situation, and if so, the degree to which they apply. DNA databanks are not uniformly regulated, and it is possible that DNA samples contained in them may be used for purposes unintended by donors of the samples. As people live their lives, they leave bits of their DNA behind. They cannot be assured that these tiny specimens will not be taken or used against their will or without their knowledge for activities such as profiling to measure tendencies such as thrill-seeking, aggressiveness, or crimes with threatening behavior. Existing racial or ethnic discrimination and profiling may also encompass genetic discrimination and profiling, creating societal class distinctions. This article will explore the constitutionality of collecting genetic materials, the ethics of such activities, and balance the social good in solving crime and deterrence against the individual's security, liberty, and privacy.
Keywords DNA databanks   privacy   property   unreasonable search and seizure
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bette Anton (1999). CQ Sources/Bibliography. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (04):348-350.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #147,771 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #84,767 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.