In a report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last month, we exposed the extent of the Chinese government’s program of genetic surveillance: It no longer is limited to Xinjiang, Tibet and other areas mostly populated by ethnic minorities the government represses; DNA collection — serving no apparent immediate need — has spread across the entire country. We estimate that the authorities’ goal is to gather the DNA samples of 35 million to 70 million Chinese males.

Matched against official family records, surveillance footage or witness statements in police reports, these samples will become a powerful tool for the Chinese authorities to track down a man or boy — or, failing that, a relative of his — for whatever reason they deem fit…

The police in New York routinely collect DNA samples from people they arrest or simply question — sometimes without saying. Across the United States, police officers search private ancestry sites like GEDmatch scouring genetic data looking for potential leads in cold cases — also without the knowledge or the consent of the people who uploaded their personal information.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration put in place a program requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to collect with mouth swabs DNA samples from people in their custody and add that information to the FBI’s DNA database.