Distrusting The Government With Your DNA

Proponents of broad-scale DNA testing say that data collection can help solve crimes, locate missing children, and ease immigration processes. But Virginia Hughes discovers that some individuals are personally reluctant:

I asked [researcher Sara] Katsanis whether she would ever contribute a DNA sample to a U.S. government database. She replied with a swift and certain, “No,” and then told me a story about the day she gave a lecture on DNA to some police officers in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“After I lectured to them, I said, ‘What do you guys think of a universal database? Should we just put everybody in it?’,” she recalls. “They said, ‘You mean me, too?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, you too.’ And they said, ‘Oh no, not at all, not ever. I don’t trust the police. I don’t trust us to not misuse that DNA’.”