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19 March, 2009

Cleared - maybe

Whatever one might feel about comedian/activist Mark Thomas (personally, I commend his ingenuity and most tactics, but not his causes), he's to be credited with a significant achievement: having had his DNA data, collected after he was arrested and subsequently acquitted, deleted* from police databases.

As reported months ago, the UK government is obliged to discard the genetic information of anyone not found guilty of a crime: a 'just in case' DNA database of the innocent is expressly forbidden by the European Court of Human Rights. However, as expected, the UK government has failed to act on the ruling, and demands for the police to delete information about less well-known individuals have been rejected. Let's hope that this instance has an effect.

*: Understandably, commenters on the article question whether anything has really been deleted, and whether all forms of Thomas' DNA data have been destroyed.

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