San Francisco Is Limiting What Police Can Do With Your DNA

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A man wearing a face mask stands behind a lectern, with two women on either side of him.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks during a press conference at his office on Feb. 15, 2022, discussing the SFPD's alleged practice of logging DNA evidence from rape kits into a crime database to use as evidence in other crimes.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday afternoon, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that would limit how police store and use DNA profiles obtained from evidence and kept in their labs. The changes happened after the district attorney’s office found the San Francisco Police Department had used DNA from a survivor’s rape kit to link her to an unrelated crime years later. It’s hard to know just how many people’s DNA was used in this way, raising concerns about what power law enforcement yields with advancements in DNA technology.

Guest: Alex Emslie, reporter for KQED

Read the transcript.