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UK still pushing to keep innocents’ details on DNA database

dna-grey-letters.jpgEarlier this month it looked like the UK government had abandoned plans to keep the DNA of innocent people on its massive police database.

The European Court of Human Rights has already said that data on innocent people should not be retained. Now, however, leaked emails indicate that the government will try to keep hold of their DNA for six years, says the Daily Mail. The previously abandoned position of the government was to keep DNA of innocents for 12 years (see: UK won’t be able to store DNA data – 20 October, 2009).

It was also reported today that the profiles of 5.5 million people – over 10% of the population of England and Wales – are now on the database (Daily Telegraph). In addition, over 90,000 innocent people have had their DNA added to the database since that European Court ruling that this shouldn’t be happening (Guardian).

The UK government’s approach seems to be catching on too: the University of Akron in the US is now apparently requiring job applicants to be willing to supply a DNA sample (Inside Higher Ed).

Image: Getty

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    Richard Blaber said:

    The outrageous defiance of the ECHR’s ruling by a Government that prides itself on having introduced and passed the Human Rights Act is all too typical of their attitude to the people of this country – the very people to whom they are accountable.

    Before Labour came to power we had a presumption of innocence in the UK. Now everyone is treated as a potential criminal. There is no other justification for retaining the DNA profiles of innocent people – including innocent children – on the database, which was established to hold the DNA profiles of convicted criminals. The fingerprints of innocent people are also being retained, again in defiance of the ECHR.

    This cannot be allowed to continue. I, for one, will not allow them to go on doing this – which is why I propose to take legal action against HM Government to stop them.

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