Social justice groups sue California over DNA database that stores profiles of those not convicted: report

Two social justice groups in California sued the state’s department of justice on Monday over its collection and storage of DNA profiles from those arrested but never convicted of a felony, a report said.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the state requires that the department keeps the DNA information from anyone who has ever been arrested for a felony. The information is saved even if the suspect is acquitted, according to a state law passed in 2004.

The report pointed out that those acquitted can apply to have their information removed, but these groups say many do not know such a procedure exists. The groups called the removal process difficult, the report said.

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and comes about eight months after a state judge turned back an argument that these collections violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, the report said.

"The state's failure to automatically expunge DNA samples and profiles from the hundreds of thousands of Californians who were not ultimately convicted of a crime is unconstitutional," Jamie Lee Williams, a lawyer for one of the groups suing, Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the paper.