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IPFS News Link • Privacy Rights

EFF Files Amicus Brief Challenging Orange County, CA's Controversial DNA Collection Program

• By Jennifer Lynch

As we argue in an amicus brief filed in support of a case called Thompson v. Spitzer at the California Court of Appeal, this practice not only impinges on misdemeanor arrestees' privacy and liberty rights, but also violates the California Constitution.

Since 2007, the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) has been running an expansive program that coerces thousands of Orange County residents annually to provide a DNA sample in exchange for dropping charges for low-level misdemeanor offenses. Through the program, the OCDA has amassed a database of over 182,000 DNA profiles, larger than the DNA databases of 25 states. OCDA claims a right to indefinitely retain the DNA samples it collects and to share them with third parties who may use them in new and unknown ways in the future. Unlike state and federal arrestee DNA databases, OCDA does not allow anyone to have their DNA expunged from its database.

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