European Data Protection Digest

DNA Database Still Collecting Troves of Data

GENETIC PRIVACY—UK

June 7, 2012

Despite the recent passage of a law intending to scale down the world’s largest database of DNA profiles, privacy advocates say more than 150,000 innocent people have had their DNA added to the national database in recent years, The Telegraph reports. Since 2004, police have been permitted to take DNA or fingerprints of anyone older than 10 years old who’s been arrested for a “recordable offence.” In 2008, the European Court of Human Rights ruled keeping the records indefinitely was unlawful, the report states, prompting the government to promise to only keep the DNA of those convicted of serious offences for a maximum of five years--a promise group Big Brother Watch says has not been fulfilled.
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