European Data Protection Digest

Supreme Court Declares DNA Policies Unconstitutional

GENETIC PRIVACY—UK

May 20, 2011

The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that indefinite retention of an individual's DNA violates a person's right to privacy, OUT-LAW News reports. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) maintain guidelines asserting that a suspect's DNA should only be discarded "in exceptional cases." The court ruling said, "The majority grant a declaration that the present ACPO guidelines are unlawful because they are incompatible with... the European Convention on Human Rights." The ruling notes that it will not force a change in UK law because of upcoming legislation covering biometric data retention, but adds, "It is...open to ACPO to reconsider and amend the guidelines in the interim."
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