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More personal right to control DNA samples

Comment 2nd July 2010

The DNA database is expensive, and has little statistical support. The records on innocent people are retained, sometimes indefinitely on this database, and the right of removal of this data is entirely at the discretion of senior police officers. Requests to remove innocent people's DNA are refused without explanation.

An individual should have the same rights to view and modify all information that is held on them by the police or authorities, and if that information is incorrect or irrelevant, then it should be the individual's right to have it removed from the database.

The police, as a matter of course take DNA samples even if there is no case for an individual to answer to. This is an infringement of basic human rights and the practice should be stopped, with the police only having this right on conviction in serious offences. It would not be right for an individual's DNA to be retained, for instance, if they were convicted of a motoring offence for instance.

Why does this matter?

Fundamental human rights are being denied many individuals, who have committed no crime, but whose information is retained on a DNA database without recourse to its removal.

Police should only be given to right to take and retain DNA samples on conviction of serious offences, but individual citizens would be able to volunteer their DNA to clear their name.

Individuals have had the right to remain anonymous removed from them. Government have been shown time and again to be unable to guard and manage data safely.

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