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28 May, 2004

Police have 'right' to take DNA

The Citizen (Lancaster's free weekly newspaper) reports this as local news, but I presume it has to be nationwide: new rules allow the police to take DNA samples and fingerprints from anyone arrested, whether or not they are subsequently charged.

Quite apart from the the issue of treating the wrongly arrested as criminals, as always I object to government agencies having any personal information 'just in case it becomes handy in the future'. If there is a specific investigation for which information is required, I'll consider providing it, so long as a) I retain the right to refuse, and b) it is destroyed afterwards, but I'm not prepared to contribute to a permanent database facilitating blanket monitoring of the populace.

In the same article, a spokesperson of Liberty implies that the DNA data ultimately could be passed on to other agencies such as the NHS or medical insurers; I'm unconvinced that this is a realistic suggestion, but one has to consider now how data might be used in 10-20 years.

Comments

Are you Lancastrian? Do you read the celebrated Lancaster blog that Looby writes?

Posted by Vanessa at June 2, 2004 12:08 PM
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