President Donald Trump has signed the Rapid DNA Act into law which means the police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime.
The law, which was signed in 2017 and comes into effect this year, will require several states to connect Rapid DNA machines to Codis – the national DNA database controlled by the FBI.
These machines, which are portable and about the same size as a desktop printer, are expected to become as routine a process as taking fingerprints.
But John W. Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute believes it is a sinister development which will make everyone a suspect.
“But we could look at a situation in which someone could be arrested, have their mouth swabbed and then be charged within hours after generating a DNA profile.
“We are looking at the erosion of the concept of innocent before proven guilty because it will allow police to go on fishing expeditions.
“When you sit on a park bench, you shed DNA. That is now up for grabs by police who could swab it, and run it through a DNA database. If they find a match, or if misconduct occurred anywhere in the vicinity where your DNA was found, you might find yourself charged with a crime you never committed merely because you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.