The New York Times is reporting that DNA databases built and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) and various states are quickly increasing in size and use.
The debate over whether persons convicted of felonies should have their DNA collected and stored by law enforcement has long been considered decided. Additionally, the collection of fingerprints of persons arrested (but not necessarily convicted) of crimes has also long been considered decided.
However, what about the collection of DNA from persons merely arrested or detained, but not convicted? The F.B.I. and 15 states are going to do just that starting this month, with a vast majority of those persons being suspected illegal immigrants.
The National DNA Index System, initiated under the E-Government Act of 2002, P.L. 107-347, and the accompanying guidelines issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 26, 2003, already contains information on 6.7 million people. The rate of collection is expected by the F.B.I. to increase from around 80,000 persons per year to 1.2 million people per year by 2012, a 17-fold increase, according to The New York Times.