I saw this recently on IAJGS – HB 833 on DNA Privacy Passes Florida House 85-28; Senate by 22-18 (IAJGS Public Records Access Alert): https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/833/BillText/er/PDF. Much longer article. but here are some of the relevant portions.
The Florida House of Representatives passed HB 833 on DNA privacy in an 85-28 vote. The Senate also passed the bill by a vote of 22-28. While existing law already requires informed consent, this bill addresses written consent and increases penalties depending on how the DNA is used. The bill is called the Protecting DNA Privacy Act.
For collecting another person’s DNA without written consent, the penalty would remain a first degree misdemeanor. But if the unlawfully collected DNA is analyzed or shared with a third party, violators could be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The new law would allow exceptions, including determining paternity, criminal investigations and prosecutions, or entering information into the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s criminal DNA database. The bill does provide exceptions for DNA direct-to-consumer companies such as Ancestry.com and 23and Me. It would be a felony if someone sells, transfers the results of another person’s to a third party DNA analysis regardless if the DNA sample was originally collected or analyzed without express consent. If someone discloses the DNA results, without express consent, that were previously voluntarily disclosed by the person whose DNA was analyzed or their guardian or authorized representative is not subject to the felony provisions.
If signed into law the bill would take effect on October 1, 2021.
To read the enrolled version of the bill see: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/833/BillText/er/PDF
Enrolled means it has passed both chambers in identical form.
The article also mentions a lawsuit over hate mail in which DNA was obtained unlawfully which has some “proof” of the need for this legislation.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee