A proposed bill in Florida that would require informed and written consent to collect DNA or disclose genetic testing results has passed its first committee hurdle, according to Florida Politics.
It adds that the bill, sponsored by Rep. Josie Tomkow (R-Polk City), strengthens penalties for violating the law. For instance, under the proposed bill, someone who collects another's DNA without authorization could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge, while someone who submits someone else's DNA for analysis or shares the results of someone else's genetic analysis without authorization could be charged with a third-degree felony.
"This legislation is a first step to deter individuals and others who might steal DNA to gain access to your private information, and then use it against you," Tomkow tells Florida Politics.
Last year, Florida adopted a new genetic privacy law that goes beyond the federal federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and also prevents life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in their coverage decisions.