Lewis Diuguid

Privacy rights continue to slip

The Supreme Court can generally be expected to side with law enforcement and against citizens’ privacy concerns.

That’s the way things went when the court ruled Monday that it was OK for police to take DNA samples from people who had been arrested for serious crimes. Authorities love it, saying getting DNA samples gives then a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes like taking fingerprints and photographs of suspects.

Privacy advocates say it crosses the Fourth Amendment line against unreasonable searches and seizures. In this electronic age, where cameras are recording nearly everything that people do in public and stores know consumers’ shopping habits, there is just about no privacy anyway.

It is just one more large grain of sand that has slipped through the constitutional hourglass never to return.