The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that doing a cheek swab for DNA is just like fingerprinting and photographing during the booking procedure after a person has been arrested.
Thus, police now have the go-ahead to swab your cheek for DNA and match that DNA to records in the criminal database. It’s like an updated form of fingerprinting. As Richard Wolf reports for USA Today, this case was a “classic test between modern crime-fighting technology and centuries-old privacy rights.”
And modern crime-fighting technology won out.
Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, as you’d expect, dissented with the Supreme Court’s ruling, arguing that this result crosses the line into an unreasonable police search.
Wolf quotes Scalia’s dissent: “Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”