Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UK government retreat on DNA retention

The Guardian reported on Monday that UK government "announced it is dropping current proposals to retain the DNA profiles of innocent people on the national database", despite a successful appeal by the police against an information tribunal ruling that data on old, minor convictions must be deleted from police computers.

Apparently retention proposals have been removed from the policing and crime bill currently making its way through parliament.  Given the twists and turns on this since The ECJ condemned the UK's fingerprint and DNA data retention policy in the S. and Marper v UK case last year, I doubt this announcement is likely to indicate a clear intention to comply with the ruling.  Indeed the Home Office announcement included a declaration of intent to include DNA retention proposals in the next policing and crime bill.  The dumping of the current proposals is likely to be more related to criticism from the Jill Dando Institute for Crime Science, which claimed the government was using its unfinished research inappropriately to justify 6 and 12 year retention, than any intent to fully implement the principles of the S. and Marper decision.

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