Monthly Archives: October 2014

EEOC Seeks Injunction to Stop Biometric Testing at Honeywell

Yesterday, in an extraordinary move, the EEOC filed a petition for a temporary injunction against Honeywell International, Inc. in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. The reason? Honeywell’s implementation of biometric testing for employees and their spouses as a part of its medical insurance program. According to the EEOC petition, if employees or their spouses fail to participate in biometric testing, they will lose Honeywell’s contribution to their HSA and face up to $2500 in health insurance surcharges. The EEOC argues that Honeywell’s program, which is scheduled to start biometric testing this month, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Like its two recent wellness program lawsuits, this action, which asks the court to stop the testing, breaks new ground for the EEOC.

The ADA prohibits employers from requiring employees to submit to medical examinations that are not intended to determine whether an employee can perform the essential functions of the job. It also restricts the health-related information employers can seek or obtain and prohibits medical or health-related testing that is not job-related or consistent with a business necessity.

GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in “any aspect of employment.” GINA also prohibits employers from obtaining family medical history information – including for wellness programs and medical insurance – if the information could be used to affect a term or condition of employment. Medical insurance premiums are viewed by the EEOC to be a term or condition of employment. In its petition to stop Honeywell’s testing, the EEOC argues that the inducements and penalties related to spouses’ participation violate GINA.

According to its petition, the EEOC is seeking an injunction, rather than simply filing suit against Honeywell, because the agency and Honeywell employees will be “irreparably harmed” if biometric testing goes forward.

Although not referenced in the EEOC’s legal action, Honeywell might also want to take a look at laws that prohibit discrimination against employees because of their consumption of lawful products during non-work time. These laws protect employees’ right to consume products – like tobacco – while off duty, and restrict employers’ ability to discipline, discharge, or impose other negative consequences on employees because of their consumption. Statutes related to lawful consumable products vary from state to state, but some, arguably including the statute in Honeywell’s home state of Minnesota, could be the basis for additional claims against Honeywell.

At this writing, Honeywell has not responded publicly to the petition. We will watch for its response and the court’s decision with great interest, and keep you posted.

Posted by: Judy Langevin and Kate Bischoff , The Employment Law Navigator

EEOC Sues Home Care Agency for GINA Violation – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

On September 17, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a press release announcing it is suing BNV Home Care Agency, Inc. (“BNV”) for practices that are prohibited by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”).

GINA prevents employers from requesting genetic information, including family medical history, or using that information in the hiring process. According to the release, BNV asked for family medical history from a class of thousands of applicants and employees through an “Employee Health Assessment” form. BNV applicants were required to complete the form after a job offer was made, but before hire. Employees had to complete the form annually.

BNV should serve as an important reminder that neither employers nor contracted third-party providers (i.e., doctors’ offices that conduct employment-related physicals or tests on the employers’ behalf) should use forms that ask for applicants or employees to disclose family medical history. In January 2014, just ten months after the EEOC filed its first systemic lawsuit alleging violations of GINA against a nursing and rehabilitation care facility, the agency settled the case for $370,000.  At the time, the EEOC warned that, “When illegal questions are required as part of the hiring process, the EEOC will be vigilant in ensuring that no one is denied employment opportunities on a prohibited basis.” In addition, addressing emerging and developing issues in equal employment law, which includes genetic discrimination, is one of the six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan. In short, employers can be sure that the EEOC is on high alert for any employment practices that may violate GINA.

Brandon K Johnson, National Law Review

How to Cope With a Positive Genetic Test Result

There are precious few tests in medicine, save pregnancy perhaps, where a positive test result is good news. Particularly in the realm of genetics, testing positive for a mutation is often devastating, portending gloomy days of sickness ahead.

But there is help out there for people with a positive genetic test result, as well as something of a protocol for them to follow so they feel empowered moving forward.

After Cassie Barnes’ third miscarriage, her doctors ordered extensive blood work that involved genetic screening. One of the unforeseen results of the test was that Barnes, who lives in Cincinnati, was a carrier for the genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis, a debilitating condition that people often die from before they turn 40. Barnes, now 41, had once watched a fellow graduate student suffer from it, so even though Barnes was only a carrier of the condition, and not at risk for suffering from it herself, the thought of passing it to a child someday scared her.

But Barnes, who works in development communications for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, knew the CF mutation is a recessive gene – meaning “it takes two to tango.” Her husband tested negative for the gene, giving the couple the confidence to continue trying to get pregnant. When that happened, and their daughter Genevieve was born, the infant tested borderline – and “trending for positive,” Barnes says.

Your New Best Friend: the Genetic Counselor

“The genetic counselor called me later that night to reassure me that borderline doesn’t mean positive,” Barnes says. Genevieve underwent further tests at 3 and 6 months old, and the genetic counselor was right by her mother’s side.

“Not only can [counselors] help you understand the science, the odds and the prognosis. They can help you process things emotionally,” Barnes says. “My husband and I talked all the time, but [talking to each other] fed our fears. Having somebody outside the whole situation was really helpful to me.”

Ideally, high-risk patients would consult a genetic counselor before they even get tested, says Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who also teaches bioethics. “You have to think through the decision to get tested,” he adds. You wouldn’t, for example, just decide to test for Huntington’s disease on a whim, adds Steven Hersch, a neurology professor at Harvard Medical School. “We make people take their time with it so they can do it and not regret it once it’s done,” Hersch says. “It’s important they understand why they’re doing it.”

Robin Bennett, a genetic counselor at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, says genetic counselors field the myriad questions patients invariably have, from how the result will affect other family members, to how to prevent or help treat the condition, to whether or not they could face discrimination because of the result.

Bennett, for example, may refer people who test positive for the BRCA genes linked to breast cancer to specialists in cancer screening or prevention, just as she would send someone testing positive for the Huntington’s disease gene, a rare but devastating neurological condition, to a neurologist specializing in early disease onset. She also refers them to support groups – either online or in person.

The genetic counselor can also guide people as they discuss the information with relatives – both close ones like children, and distant relatives with whom the patient hasn’t been in touch for years.

Informing the Next Generation

Broaching the subject of if and when children should be told about their parents’ positive genetic results is usually a big concern.

When Barnes’ 2-year-old daughter Genevieve was 6 months, she finally tested negative for having cystic fibrosis. But as a carrier of the genetic mutation, she can pass that on someday if she has kids. “When and if she finds a partner, and decides to have a kid, that’s a discussion she will have to have with her partner,” Barnes says.

Women who test positive for the BRCA mutations often face the dilemma of when to tell their daughters about it – as well as their sons, who can also carry the mutation. “By and large, by the time children are becoming teenagers … that seems to be a time that parents are more open,” says Kenneth Tercyak, an associate professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “If the mother has been sick in the past, this can offer somewhat of an explanation.”

There may be other benefits to telling teenagers their parents’ positive status, Tercyak adds. They may avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use and practice good health habits, knowing that they, too, are at risk of the disease and carrying the gene.

 

Know Your Rights

Apart from coping with the emotional and medical issues related to a positive genetic test result, patients are often faced with life-changing decisions, such as: whether or not to forego having children who might also carry or get the condition, and whether to remove ovaries or breasts to lower the risk of breast or ovarian cancer.

These issues aside, experts say people should also know their rights regarding privacy and protections against discrimination. In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act became federal law, prohibiting discrimination for health coverage and employment based on genetic information. Jeremy Gruber, president of the Council for Responsible Genetics, who worked on the law, says that while the law is a step forward, it’s not comprehensive. It doesn’t cover life insurance, disability or lifelong condition care​. While some states have passed laws extending those protections, “For many Americans, there is a lack of protection scenarios,” Gruber says.

“I think it’s important for people to become educated about exactly where they are protected and where they are not, and to be protective of that information,” he continues.

For example, employers are not allowed to ask for genetic information, but since the passage of GINA, there have been a number of cases where employers have improperly found out employees’ genetic information and used that against them, Gruber says.

For that reason, people need to be very careful about whom they tell about their genetic test results at the workplace, Klitzman adds. In his book, “Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing,” Klitzman profiles a woman who had mentioned her positive BRCA mutation result to a co-worker. “The next thing she knew, people were coming up to her, asking, ‘How are you?’” Klitzman says, adding that the woman had also been in line for a promotion that she didn’t get – she thinks because of her genetic status. “This is the kind of subtle discrimination that goes on.”

On the other hand, patients cannot withhold genetic information from health insurance companies, for example, just as they can’t really expect doctors to leave out that information in their medical records – even if the patient asks. A small percentage of doctors have disguised genetic information, much in the same way they used to use coded language for patients with HIV or those who had abortions, Klitzman continues. But concealing genetic information in medical records, apart from posing ethical concerns, may be more challenging as health systems increasing rely on electronic medical records designed to improve transparency.

Given this scenario, patients can help protect themselves by applying for insurance (especially life, disability or long-term care) before they get tested for genetic mutations. “Your rates are likely to be lower than after you find out you have a positive test result,” Klitzman says.

Kristine Crane, U.S. News and World Report

We Want Privacy, but Can’t Stop Sharing

IMAGINE a world suddenly devoid of doors. None in your home, on dressing rooms, on the entrance to the local pub or even on restroom stalls at concert halls. The controlling authorities say if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you shouldn’t mind.

Well, that’s essentially the state of affairs on the Internet. There is no privacy. If those creepy targeted ads on Google hadn’t tipped you off, then surely Edward J. Snowden’s revelations, or, more recently, Jennifer Lawrence’s nude selfies, made your vulnerability to cybersnooping abundantly clear.

You need only read George Orwell’s “1984” or watch the film “Minority Report” to understand how surveillance is incompatible with a free society. And increasingly, people are coming to understand how their online data might be used against them. You might not get a job, a loan or a date because of an indiscreet tweet or if your address on Google Street View shows your brother-in-law’s clunker in the driveway. But less obvious is the psychic toll of the current data free-for-all.

“With all the focus on the legal aspects of privacy and the impact on global trade there’s been little discussion of why you want privacy and why it’s intrinsically important to you as an individual,” said Adam Joinson, professor of behavior change at the University of the West of England in Bristol, who coined the term “digital crowding” to describe excessive social contact and loss of personal space online.

Perhaps that’s because there is no agreement over what constitutes private information. It varies among cultures, genders and individuals. Moreover, it’s hard to argue for the value of privacy when people eagerly share so much achingly personal information on social media.

But the history of privacy (loosely defined as freedom from being observed) is one of status. Those who are institutionalized for criminal behavior or ill health, children and the impoverished have less privacy than those who are upstanding, healthy, mature and wealthy. Think of crowded tenements versus mansions behind high hedges.

“The implication is that if you don’t have it, you haven’t earned the right or aren’t capable or trustworthy,” said Christena Nippert-Eng, professor of sociology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and author of “Islands of Privacy.”

So it’s not surprising that privacy research in both online and offline environments has shown that just the perception, let alone the reality, of being watched results in feelings of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Whether observed by a supervisor at work or Facebook friends, people are inclined to conform and demonstrate less individuality and creativity. Their performance of tasks suffers and they have elevated pulse rates and levels of stress hormones.

An analogy in the psychological literature is that privacy is like sleep. Just as being unconscious for a portion of the day is restorative, so is being unselfconscious. The arousal associated with being observed and the implicit judgment drain cognitive resources. We worry about how we are perceived, which inhibits our ability to explore our thoughts and feelings so we can develop as individuals.

A three-year German study ending in 2012 showed that the more people disclosed about themselves on social media, the more privacy they said they desired. The lead author of the study, Sabine Trepte, a professor of media psychology at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, said the paradox indicated participants’ dissatisfaction with what they got in return for giving away so much about themselves.

“It’s a bad deal because what they get is mainly informational support like maybe a tip for a restaurant or link to an article,” she said. “What they don’t get is the kind of emotional and instrumental support that leads to well-being, like a shoulder to cry on or someone who will sit by your bedside at the hospital.”

And yet, she added, they continued to participate because they were afraid of being left out or judged by others as unplugged and unengaged losers. So the cycle of disclosure followed by feelings of vulnerability and general dissatisfaction continued.

“There’s also this idea in our society that if I just embarrass myself enough I can be the next Snooki or Kardashian,” said Anita L. Allen, author of “Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide?” and professor of law and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. “There’s a real financial incentive to not care and give it all up.”

The problem is that if you reveal everything about yourself or it’s discoverable with a Google search, you may be diminished in your capacity for intimacy. This goes back to social penetration theory, one of the most cited and experimentally validated explanations of human connection. Developed by Irwin Altman and Dalmas A. Taylor in the 1970s, the theory holds that relationships develop through gradual and mutual self-disclosure of increasingly private and sensitive personal information.

“Building and maintaining an enduring, intimate relationship is a process of privacy regulation,” said Dr. Altman, now an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Utah. “It’s about opening and closing boundaries to maintain individual identity but also demonstrate unity with another, and if there are violations then the relationship is threatened.”

Thought of another way, information about yourself is like currency. The amount you spend on a person signifies how much you value the relationship. And that person compensates you in kind. That’s why it feels like theft when someone tells your secrets or data miners piece together your personal history — using your browsing habits, online purchases and social networks — and sell it. And it’s also why if you’re profligate with information about yourself, you have precious little to offer someone really special.

“I have to say, too, there’s a certain kind of vanity and self-absorption reflected in giving up everything about one’s self,” Professor Allen said. “To think that somehow everything you do needs to be shared online is conceited and false.”

Congress has so far been disinclined to protect citizens from their digital promiscuity or halt the data grabs perpetrated by Internet companies. States have made some moves such as California’s law to allow minors to erase social media posts, but legal scholars including Professor Allen say these measures are far from sufficient. And while the European Union is pressing to allow its citizens the “right to be forgotten,” it’s questionable how that will be accomplished.

But privacy researchers said they are starting to see signs of a backlash. People are beginning to exercise a bit more reserve online or are otherwise engaging in subversive tactics to thwart data miners. Such small acts of defiance might include setting up multiple fake identities, using a virtual private network to shield their browsing behavior and not “liking” anything on Facebook or following anyone on Twitter, making their social networks and preferences harder to track.

“When people want privacy there’s often this idea that, ‘Oh, they are hiding something dirty,’ but they are really just trying to hold onto themselves,” Professor Nippert-Eng said. She gives the example of a 65-year-old man who in his youth harbored the fantasy of being a rock star and still spends hours blissfully practicing his guitar in his basement: “He doesn’t want anyone to know, because he doesn’t want anyone to wreck it for him.”

Can Big Data Tell Us What Clinical Trials Don’t?

When a helicopter rushed a 13-year-old girl showing symptoms suggestive of kidney failure to Stanford’s Packard Children’s Hospital, Jennifer Frankovich was the rheumatologist on call. She and a team of other doctors quickly diagnosed lupus, an autoimmune disease. But as they hurried to treat the girl, Frankovich thought that something about the patient’s particular combination of lupus symptoms — kidney problems, inflamed pancreas and blood vessels — rang a bell. In the past, she’d seen lupus patients with these symptoms develop life-threatening blood clots. Her colleagues in other specialties didn’t think there was cause to give the girl anti-clotting drugs, so Frankovich deferred to them. But she retained her suspicions. “I could not forget these cases,” she says.

Back in her office, she found that the scientific literature had no studies on patients like this to guide her. So she did something unusual: She searched a database of all the lupus patients the hospital had seen over the previous five years, singling out those whose symptoms matched her patient’s, and ran an analysis to see whether they had developed blood clots. “I did some very simple statistics and brought the data to everybody that I had met with that morning,” she says. The change in attitude was striking. “It was very clear, based on the database, that she could be at an increased risk for a clot.”

The girl was given the drug, and she did not develop a clot. “At the end of the day, we don’t know whether it was the right decision,” says Chris Longhurst, a pediatrician and the chief medical information officer at Stanford Children’s Health, who is a colleague of Frankovich’s. But they felt that it was the best they could do with the limited information they had.

A large, costly and time-consuming clinical trial with proper controls might someday prove Frankovich’s hypothesis correct. But large, costly and time-consuming clinical trials are rarely carried out for uncommon complications of this sort. In the absence of such focused research, doctors and scientists are increasingly dipping into enormous troves of data that already exist — namely the aggregated medical records of thousands or even millions of patients to uncover patterns that might help steer care.

The Tatonetti Laboratory at Columbia University is a nexus in this search for signal in the noise. There, Nicholas Tatonetti, an assistant professor of biomedical informatics — an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science and medicine — develops algorithms to trawl medical databases and turn up correlations. For his doctoral thesis, he mined the F.D.A.’s records of adverse drug reactions to identify pairs of medications that seemed to cause problems when taken together. He found an interaction between two very commonly prescribed drugs: The antidepressant paroxetine (marketed as Paxil) and the cholesterol-lowering medication pravastatin were connected to higher blood-sugar levels. Taken individually, the drugs didn’t affect glucose levels. But taken together, the side-effect was impossible to ignore. “Nobody had ever thought to look for it,” Tatonetti says, “and so nobody had ever found it.”

The potential for this practice extends far beyond drug interactions. In the past, researchers noticed that being born in certain months or seasons appears to be linked to a higher risk of some diseases. In the Northern Hemisphere, people with multiple sclerosis tend to be born in the spring, while in the Southern Hemisphere they tend to be born in November; people with schizophrenia tend to have been born during the winter. There are numerous correlations like this, and the reasons for them are still foggy — a problem Tatonetti and a graduate assistant, Mary Boland, hope to solve by parsing the data on a vast array of outside factors. Tatonetti describes it as a quest to figure out “how these diseases could be dependent on birth month in a way that’s not just astrology.” Other researchers think data-mining might also be particularly beneficial for cancer patients, because so few types of cancer are represented in clinical trials.

As with so much network-enabled data-tinkering, this research is freighted with serious privacy concerns. If these analyses are considered part of treatment, hospitals may allow them on the grounds of doing what is best for a patient. But if they are considered medical research, then everyone whose records are being used must give permission. In practice, the distinction can be fuzzy and often depends on the culture of the institution. After Frankovich wrote about her experience in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2011, her hospital warned her not to conduct such analyses again until a proper framework for using patient information was in place.

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In the lab, ensuring that the data-mining conclusions hold water can also be tricky. By definition, a medical-records database contains information only on sick people who sought help, so it is inherently incomplete. Also, they lack the controls of a clinical study and are full of other confounding factors that might trip up unwary researchers. Daniel Rubin, a professor of bioinformatics at Stanford, also warns that there have been no studies of data-driven medicine to determine whether it leads to positive outcomes more often than not. Because historical evidence is of “inferior quality,” he says, it has the potential to lead care astray.

Yet despite the pitfalls, developing a “learning health system” — one that can incorporate lessons from its own activities in real time — remains tantalizing to researchers. Stefan Thurner, a professor of complexity studies at the Medical University of Vienna, and his researcher, Peter Klimek, are working with a database of millions of people’s health-insurance claims, building networks of relationships among diseases. As they fill in the network with known connections and new ones mined from the data, Thurner and Klimek hope to be able to predict the health of individuals or of a population over time. On the clinical side, Longhurst has been advocating for a button in electronic medical-record software that would allow doctors to run automated searches for patients like theirs when no other sources of information are available.

With time, and with some crucial refinements, this kind of medicine may eventually become mainstream. Frankovich recalls a conversation with an older colleague. “She told me, ‘Research this decade benefits the next decade,’ ” Frankovich says. “That was how it was. But I feel like it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.”

Veronique Greenwood, NY Times

Ca Governor signs DNA Protection Act

Somebody note the date and time: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the conservative former gubernatorial candidate who spent much of the spring trashing Gov. Jerry Brown, just said something nice about … Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown on Friday signed Donnelly’s AB 1697, the DNA Protection Act, which prohibits using the state’s criminal-justice DNA database from being used as a source of material for testing, research or experiments by any person, agency or entity seeking to find a causal link between genetics and behavior or health.

“I would like to thank Governor Brown for standing with me once again to defend the civil liberties of all Californians,” Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said in a news release. “California will continue to use DNA samples for forensics, missing persons, collecting evidence or other legal means. With AB1697 now law, we have prevented government from abusing our privacy. We have protected the civil rights of all Californians from this high tech tyranny.”

Donnelly said the new law is critical to protecting those who’ve been arrested from the government’s genetic snooping.

“Currently, the government of California has hoarded over 1.8 million DNA samples,” he said. “As the cost of DNA sequencing decreases and the ability to process large amounts of data increases, the state has the unprecedented ability to link genetics with criminal activity. While this may sound like the movie ‘Minority Report,’ it is no longer science fiction. Thanks to AB1697 becoming law, the DNA of every Californian will be safe from being violated by an ever-intrusive government.”

The bill certainly wasn’t controversial. The Assembly passed it 78-0, and the state Senate passed it 33-0.

Josh Richman , Mercury News

FBI seeks to add Rapid DNA to biometric database

This week, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced a plan to accelerate the collection of DNA profiles for the government’s massive new biometric identification database.

The FBI Laboratory, along with the Bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, have said that they are actively collaborating to develop a streamlined approach towards automating DNA collection processes from qualifying “arrestees” and offenders that are in custody during arrest, booking or conviction.

The goal of the FBI plan is to integrate “Rapid DNA” technology into the the agency’s biometrics-driven Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. Rapid DNA is defined as the use of portable cheek swab DNA machines in the field that can be used by law enforcement officers to initiate expedited DNA analysis. Portable DNA machines are designed to make suspect matches within 90 minutes by police officers in the field, rather than requiring days of processing by technicians in specialized laboratories.

The benefit of Rapid DNA for law enforcement is that an officer can run a test while an “arrestee” is in temporary custody. If there is a database match, then the law enforcement agency can move to place the suspect in immediate custody.

In a 2013 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that when police officers make an arrest for a serious offense, supported by probable cause, the capture and analysis of a cheek swab of an arrestee’s DNA is akin to capturing fingerprints or taking photographs. It therefore constitutes a legitimate and reasonable police booking procedure according to the high court. Due to confirmed judicial support for the practice, the FBI has moved to investigate how its can facilitate the integration of Rapid DNA analysis into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index (CODIS) database and NGI systems.

NGI, which debuted recently, aims to expand the federal government’s identification databases beyond its 110 million fingerprint records. As BiometricUpdate.com reported previously, NGI is designed to advance the Bureau’s biometrics identification services, providing an incremental replacement of its current integrated automated fingerprint identification system with a multi-modal biometric database, which includes voice, iris and facial recognition.

The Next Generation Identification program is therefore designed to advance the integration strategies and indexing of additional biometric data that will provide the framework for a future multi-modal system that will facilitate biometric fusion identification techniques. Part of the FBI’s vision will be to extend DNA into the criminal booking environment. As a consequence, the agency will hold a presentation with potential vendors in November that will elaborate its goals and objectives concerning the addition of Rapid DNA capacity to the database.

In statements to Nextgov, FBI spokeswoman Ann Todd said that Rapid DNA “will simply expedite the analysis and submission of lawfully obtained samples to the state and national DNA databases.”

She noted “the FBI will continue to apply cutting-edge technology to combat crime and protect the United States,” but “at the same time, the FBI [will remain] vigilant in upholding the Constitution, the rule of law and protecting privacy rights and civil liberties.”

Though the FBI and Justice Department have constitutional clarity surrounding the use and addition of rapid DNA during the booking procedure, the FBI will still require legislation from Congress to permit Rapid DNA results to added to the FBI’s databases. Current legislation states that CODIS database entries must be processed by an accredited laboratory.

Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Justice Department can also expect heavy criticism from civil liberty groups. Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told Nextgov that: “If the cops are stopping more African Americans or Latinos and they have the ability to collect their DNA just at a stop, then it means that the DNA database is going to be even more heavily weighted with DNA from immigrant communities and different ethnic minorities.” The EFF also is critical of the fact that DNA might be able to be tested without a warrant or without a person’s permission.

Rawlson King , Biometric Update