Sunday, May 07, 2006

Surveillance society: The DNA files

From the Independent on Sunday:

"Police files hold the DNA of more than 50,000 children who have committed no offence. And that's only the tip of the iceberg - Britain now has the largest DNA database in the world...

More than 51,000 innocent children have had DNA samples lodged on a national police database - more than twice the figure previously admitted by ministers...

MPs last night called for the genetic samples of innocent people, including those of children, to be immediately removed from what is now the world's largest DNA database.

The revelations come five years after the database was set up. It is a year since police were given new powers to hold DNA samples from anyone suspected of an offence, not just those who have been convicted.

Civil liberties campaigners are warning that the scheme, which currently holds the genetic data of more than three million people, is an attempt to create a database "by stealth". This has been denied by senior police officers who argue that it is a vital crime-fighting tool."

Thanks to HJ Afleck at FIPR for the pointer.

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