Friday, December 12, 2008

Breaching Genetic Privacy?

Since the human genome was sequenced, many people have argued for the development of a national DNA database; basically every baby born would have their DNA sequenced and stored in a computer database. Many others perceive this idea as a terrifying privacy issue. This article is about a recent ruling in the United States that will expand the current practice of collecting genetic information from convicted felons. Immigration and civil liberties groups are condemning this policy to collect DNA samples from all noncitizens detained by authorities and all people arrested for federal crimes.What do you think?

6 comments:

period1carlos said...

After reading this article, I find it hard to oppose a DNA bank of all person's genes; I see this means of identification as comparable to listing someone's eye or hair color for identification. I believe that those in favor of "privacy" didn't go into enough depth in explaining why this bank would breach privacy or what the risks of this would be in this article. Especially when weighed against the potential benefits of finding and deterring future rapists and murders, the potential disadvantages of a DNA bank would have to be quite large for me to oppose it. I find it hard to imagine a DNA bank being misused, or someone falsely incriminated. The likelihood of more than six marches in a sequence of DNA is tiny, and because a criminal's entire DNA is likely to match, finding another person with twelve matches, for instance, is almost a statistical impossibility. Instead, a DNA bank would be more effective at clearing innocents’ names.
I think the collection of DNA of illegal immigrants to be a much more complicated issue, but I ultimately feel that I do support it on the basis that illegal immigrants are guilty of a crime, hence the name “illegal immigrants”. Because the article indicates that it is US policy to collect DNA from other criminals, illegal immigrants should be treated no differently as long as they are considered guilty of a crime (in this case, entering the US illegally.

Period2DevSahni said...

I agree with Carlos the idea of a DNA bank does not pose a problem for me as an individual. This bank would be used for the protection of citizens and this would be fine. While I as an individual, do not see any apparent problem with collecting DNA and storing it into a collection bank or facility, I do understand the other side of this argument and those who do no support the idea of a data bank. Having DNA extracted from your body and stored could be viewed as stealing "someones identity." In the end, this decision will cause a lot of controversy, but here are my opinions. One, this DNA bank can help save potential lives. Second, this DNA bank, can help create a safer community. Finally, while this may be labeled an invasion of privacy, in the end this database was created for the common good and is useful.

Period 7 Valentina said...

I think that haveing a DNA database for serious criminals who have a chance of repeating thier crimes is a good idea. It keeps people safe, or safer, from those criminals. I do, however, think it is usless to have a DNA database for people who have done petty crimes and are not likely to commite any crimes more serious than the ones they have commited. Also, someone who has pledged innocent for a crime should not be subjected to having their DNA in a database because the courts have ruled that they have not harmed society in any way. I think that it would be an infraction on human rights to have innocent people's, or petty criminals, DNA unwillingly kept in a database because in the future, and even now, DNA tells a lot about a person. Information in a person's DNA can be private, and it may even be information that the police never have a right to know or that they would never ask becuase it would be considered unjust to know. DNA has too much potential information stored in it that it should not be stored unless it could really help keep the US safer.

period2Cameron said...

I think that storing DNA information is a good idea. So long as a person isn't out committing acts of violence this storage system shouldn't be a big deal. It can also help to solve a lot of violent crimes. If a person isn't out there raping and murdering people and leaving behind their DNA then it shouldn't matter that their DNA is in the database. Protecting people who are on this list is like protecting people's right to rap and murder people and get away with it. To most people on this list it is just a precaution that the government takes. If it solves a murder or a rape than it is worth it.

Period 1 Gabe said...

From reading this article, i feel that those arguing against the national DNA bank have hardly a right to argue against it. Sure it may be a "privacy issue" but if one doesn't plan to convict a crime serious or not in the near future, what is the issue with collecting DNA? Although the government has abused many things under its control in the past, holding DNA samples from a group of people who have committed any sort of crime is hard to abuse. On another note, having DNA samples available for authorities to use when they are researching about a suspect is very helpful to their investigation.

period1marina said...

Not that i am against collecting DNA; I realize that it would be very helpful in catching criminals, murderers, etc- it would CERTAINLY solve a lot of those problems. I guess i would vouch for it to solve those problems because they are horrible crimes, but really, for me, I think it is just another thing the government will know about us and add to the list of information they have about us. I do not like the idea that I am tied in so completely to this huge system, and I cannot live somewhere by myself and not be a part of this big system where people can easily find things out about me. Anytime a hair falls off my head, someone could pick that up and go check it out and see who it belongs to if they wanted to. I think it's scary and invasive that that much information about myself can be acessed and does not just belong to me. Someday in the future people could make little clones of me and quite frankly, I want me to be GONE and my individual dna to go with me. I don't want all this stuff floating around stored about me when I'm dead.

I think I agree with Valentina. Storing DNA for petty crimes and innocent people is unhelpful.

Also-EITHER people who are commiting crimes will find ways around leaving their DNA behind or they are sudden, unplanned, unexpected, drive-by, RANDOM crimes where i don't think the idea that their DNA is stored will really stop those sorts of things.
people have been comitting crimes for EVER. it is not going to stop just because of a DNA bank. that feels like threatening to me. there have to be other methods.