Insights from the UK and beyond
Is the DNA database too big?
A “citizens’ inquiry” instigated by the Human Genetics Commission, a government advisory body, wants the records of people who have not been convicted, or whose convictions are long spent, to be deleted from the forensic National DNA Database and says the whole archive should be overseen by an independent body.
The database was established in 1995 in Britain – the country where scientists first pioneered the technique of DNA fingerprinting.
It now contains genetic profiles on more than 4 million people, representing the highest proportion of any population on a forensic DNA database in the world, at over 6 percent.
A future government might misuse the information, members of the inquiry fear. One says keeping all the DNA records would be the first step towards a totalitarian state.
Police, though, find the database a boon, especially in trying to solve ”cold” cases from the past.
What do you think? Is the database becoming too big?