About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

UK DNA Database Contains Genetic Fingerprints of Over Four Million Individuals

by VR Sreeraman on November 5, 2007 at 7:21 PM
Font : A-A+

UK DNA Database Contains Genetic Fingerprints of Over Four Million Individuals

Over a million people's genetic fingerprints have been added to the British police DNA database in the last ten months.

The "Big Brother" system, already the biggest in the world, now permanently stores the details of more than 4.5million individuals, reports the Daily Mail.

Advertisement

The rise is the equivalent of 150 new entries every hour. The database now covers one in 13 of the population - around 7.5 per cent.

This astonishing pace of growth has become grist for the rumour mill, with some claiming that the Gordon Brown Government plans to create a universal genetic database by stealth, treating every British citizen as a potential criminal from the day he or she is born.
Advertisement

Although the database is a crime-fighting tool, producing around 3,000 matches a month with samples taken from crime scenes, around a third of all the DNA stored is taken from individuals who were not charged with any offence, and have no criminal record.

Critics raised particular concerns over the huge rise in the number of children on the database. It now includes 150,000 under-16s.

The DNA records, which are taken regardless of whether a youngster has committed a crime or not, are held on file until the day they die.

Critics believe the system is open to sinister forms of abuse, and that the dangers are growing as the database expands.

Campaigners also fear unscrupulous government agencies could use the database to track political protesters, find out who they are related to, or to refuse jobs or visas to anyone considered "undesirable".

They have demanded tougher safeguards, including time limits on storing data and an independent regulator.

In the past, police could take a DNA sample only from suspects who were charged with a criminal offence, and it was destroyed if they were subsequently cleared or a prosecution dropped.

But under reforms introduced in 2000, officers no longer have to erase innocent people's entries.

In 2004 police were given the power to take DNA swabs from anyone placed under arrest.

That paved the way for the massive growth in the size of the database seen in recent months.

The latest published figures show a total of 4,523,154 entries held by mid-October.

Source: ANI
SRM/V
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing Genetics and Stem Cells Genetic Testing of Diseases Epigenetics Christianson Syndrome Oxidative Stress / Free Radicals Cell Injury 

Recommended Reading
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, .....
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...
Epigenetics
In the recent years ‘epigenetics’ represents inheritable changes in gene expression that do not incl...
Genetic Testing of Diseases
Genetic testing helps to confirm a genetic condition in an individual and involves q complex laborat...
Oxidative Stress / Free Radicals Cell Injury
Oxidative stress is a form of injury to body tissues due to increase in free radicals. If the injur...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use