DNA database

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by asst_dep_to_dep_asst, Aug 2, 2007.

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  1. A DNA database would also help in cases of accidents where no identification is found to ID the person quickly.
  2. I have no problems with my DNA being held. However I would be more than a little worried about who was able to access the database.
  3. No problem with the idea, but I have severe concerns about how it would be misused, and who would have access to it.

    Edited to add:

    The only way I'd have any confidence in the system would be if the following had their samples taken and entered before anyone else:

    1. All Members of Parliament
    2. All Senior Civil Servants
    3. All Senior Police Officers
    4. All Local Council officials
    5. All QUANGO members
    6. All High Court judges and magistrates
  4. Blimey, I thought I was a cynic! Well, I know I am, but which "misuse" would bother you most? I'm cynical enough to believe that there is already something approaching such a database, anyway, but a positive move to transparency would be a good move IMO.
  5. DNA is not at all an exact science and has yet to be properly challenged.
    It is IMHO simply the present flavour of the month.
    However it could be very uselful in aquitting those wrongly found guilty by our imperfect criminal justice system; something a lot of people overlook.
    If resources are to be made available in order to apprehend more people, then equivalent resources should be there to help aquit.
  6. How about the Royal Family? That could be interesting.
  7. Were you thinking of any particular princes? ^~
  8. Bugger! Clicked on the wrong one when I voted. Meant to vote 'No' I won't object.

    I used to be against the idea but I have recently come round to the idea a little more.

    My concerns are about who has access to the data. How secure the database is. Whether the data is passed to foreign governments like the USA and EU countries. Whether the data is 'sold' to commercial organisations.

    There is already too much personal data available to commercial organisations that shouldn't be there.

    If it is only accessed by OUR security services and police forces and no one else, then I have no objection. If that was to be the case, then DNA should be taken from all new born babies, anyone of whatever nationality entering or leaving the country (which would mean a PROPER border police force with FULL police powers), and eventually all residents of the UK. Refusal to submit DNA when entering the UK would mean refusal of entry.

    Of course it would be extremely expensive to set up and run and take many many years. Other government based IT projects have had a remarkable ability to fail to work as designed and with massive cost overruns.

    I can see many flaws in the system and massive safeguards would need to be put in place. I'm not really sure if it would be workable.
  9. All together now; if one is innocent and above blame, one has nothing to fear.

    So far we have been governed by the relatively benign but who knows what's round the corner? I also share the worry of unauthorised access for unauthorised purposes. What would be the response to universal fingerprinting? Arguably that would be less informative to the illdisposed.
  10. However the database will require a significant amount of other informaiton associated with the DNA detail. Securing the database is a non-starter as it'll be available to every law enforcement officer in the country and a reasonable proportion of those will be subject to compromise. Data theft is highly likely.

    Plus the fact I don't trust the government to use the informtion available to them in a reasonable way. There are already too many constraints on the populace, we don't need more.
  11. Using CESG guidance on risk profiles then even limiting it to the Intelligence and Security agencies, never mind police forces, that is nearly 600 individuals susceptible to compromise. that figure is reduced by a perentage through the vetting process, but it doesn't go away.

    Include the police forces who aren't even vetted to the same level then the risk profile gets even worse.
  12. I agree with you. Although I like the idea in principle, as I said previously...

    I can see many flaws in the system and massive safeguards would need to be put in place. I'm not really sure if it would be workable.
  13. If the Royal Family gave DNA samples you can be sure they would be treated with absolute reverence. If the authorities could gaurantee my DNA would be treated with the same 'we're not worthy' reverence then I might be happy to oblige.
    As it is the RN took my sample in the early eighties. Everbody got sampled for a data base because weapons were becoming so damn powerful that if you got splashed to the four winds there was absolutely nothing left, not even a button.
    I wonder what happened to that sample come to think of it?
  14. I just think it can't be repeated too often ;)

    The problem of usability vs security. :(
  15. No time like the present - get challenging! Unless we are not to believe the quoted accuracy of something like one in several million, we need some "proper" science to make us change our minds. Have you got any?
  16. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    DNA is not infallible and many scientists accept this fact. My worry is not in havinbg the database itself, more in the political perception that a) DNA identification is infallible, b) the database cannot be misused. Once the database is established, there'll be pressure on the police to reduce investiagtive costs: "... the DNA proves that Joe Bloggs did it - why do you need to keep on investigating?".

    The existence of a DNA database introduces an element of the presumption of guilt into the legal process, i.e. we're all potentially guilty and must therefore demonstrate our innocence, rather than relying on the police to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
  17. I'm afraid I will buck the trend. I am totally against it. HMG have enough info on me already. They know my name and address. They know how old I am. They know I have a passport and that I have visited the USA recently. They know what flight I was on and what seat I sat in. They know I have a driving licence and that my car is taxed. They know my national insurance number and that I draw government and state pensions.

    All this crap about "if you've done nothing wrong there is no need to worry" is complete and utter bollox!!

    Just ask Mr Menendes. And don't trot out all the vitriol about him being here illegally. He was a human being and under what ever circumstances you like to raise, he was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
  18. If you are formally charged by the police in Scotland (for a drink driving offence, for example...) they take a DNA sample. (Or they did in 2000.) If this DNA information is used to narrow the search in the investigation of a serious crime, then what's the harm? Yes, the Govt does hold enough 'data' information on individuals at present, but there is no retina-scan, fingerprint, signature or DNA database at present, except for those formally charged by the Scots police (not necessarily guilty, though). The benefits of having such a database certainly outweigh any of the 'civil liberty' fanny arguments. As a member of the DNA database (it wasn't me, Guv, honest) it certainly does not worry me that my 'signature' information is held on record. Besides, it's probably stopped me from embarking on a life of debauched windae - licking knowing that just one trace of my saliva would be enough to bring me to justice. Oooh, those filthy windaes...

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