DNA and the Law, Is it really a problem.

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DNA and the Law, Is it really a problem.

Post by Rincewind » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:23 am

Looks like the Law wants to keep DNA samples on record and build a database and the civil liberties are against it. Even for someone who was suspected and cleared the sample may be kept or if you gave a sample as well as eveyone else in the area 'to rule yourself out' will be kept. I have always wondered why so much protection is placed onto this (and fingerprints). If you don't break the law what is the harm. We don't have our image protected and that can be used as evidence or during an investigion.

Apart from the fact that it sounds like a McDowel issue (yes FF would be up in arms) is this not a good idea.

Should DNA be treated as an extension to your image? Why do most people not want to allow these details to be kept as no real knowledge of the person's character (at least not yet) can be pulled from the sample.
If the law governs the use and control of these samples, i.e. they can only be used for investigating crime and confictions only what is the harm on having these details.

You can extract more information of the type of person you are from your bank details, credit card purchases, your amazon account or even your appearance and body language. Even though some of these are restricted within a private company it is more accessable and easier to gain access to it than DNA.

There has been surveys from after 9 11 where americans agreed that it was ok to waive certian protections of a persons liberties, i.e. your book purchases or library usage, for a more secure society (how many guns you have puchased is protected) . Personally my experience with americans is that it would be ok as long it was not them/familay or friends.

The use of a DNA database may lead to better and faster crime solving, safer confictions, removing people from their inquiries, safer streets which will lead to a safer society. Is this not a good return for a small price. I use the term small because there is other information which could do more harm to an individuals defense that has less protection.

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Post by lostexpectation » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:53 pm

the problem is its hard to think of examples where it can be misused until it happens to you, the there nothing to fear if your innocent claim can be easily argued agasint but its hard to know how your dna can be misued, I guess they could use it to trace you everywhere you go. I think its just not neccessary, its about oversight its already been seen in the UK and US that they bring in these laws saying there are to tackle terrorism but them use them for lots of other stuff without going to judge and giving him the evidence to show thats its needed.

do you want your image on file? do you want police to have a file an everyone?
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Post by mkaobrih » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:52 am

I can think of lots of reasons why it’s a bad idea.
Firstly it assumes that we will always have a “reasonable” government- who’s to say that at some point in the future a group with radical or extreme views will be in power – information is power and there is no guarantee that this power will be used for the right reasons – remember last year when that O.A.P. heckler in the U.K. was arrested under “anti terrorism laws”. Secondly – and this is amazing stuff – I saw a documentary a while back on chimeras – people who have different strand of D.N.A. in their body. Like their blood might be have one type of D.N.A. but their organs or one organ might have another. It had something to do with fraternal twin being absorbed by the other twin at a very early stage of development – point is dna is not the be all and end all mistakes can be made outliers can come to prominence and power can be abused. –Plus there is the eerie assumption of guilt until proven innocent.
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Post by blackspeare » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:48 pm

Very bad idea.

Firstly, if you haven't committed a crime why should your DNA be on any database...one is innocent until proven guilty. It all smacks of taking the easey way out as regards proper police investigation. Say your DNA accidentally ended up at a murder scene, before you know it you'd be hauled oerv the coals in a police interview without any other evidence or connection to the crime. Obviously you must be guilty as there'e only a 1 in 10 million chance your DNA matches someone else!!!

Also, governments are not averse to selling data to private companies...they already sell the electoral register in the UK assuing you haven't opted out. For example, insurance companies are already moving towards DNA based pricing policies - they scan your DNA for indicators of susceptibility to various diseases and up the price if you have any risky genes.

So, what happens if you do provide your DNA and the government subsequently changes its policy, say, allowing it to be sold or viewed by other governments. Can you be sure they'll give you the option of having your data removed before they make the change? Unlikely is my feeling.

I've worked in the 'data' business and I can tell you it is frightening the amount of information you can buy, or get for free, about individuals. With a few hours work I could find your name, age, sex, martial status, address, number and ages of your children, whether you own or rent your home, where you work, how much you earn, whether you have criminal convications, what car you drive, where you shop etc... and that's just the legally obtainable stuff. Now you want to give away your DNA too...over my dead body and not before!

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