Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scientists show how DNA evidence can be fabricated

Remember how we're constantly told that a DNA database will help us fight crime? That DNA is the way forward in identity terms? That biometrics actually protect your identity? Well those lovely people in the world of science seem to have shown it to be absolute bollocks. The NY Times reports,
Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.
This news doesn't just undermine DNA usage in crime investigation, it also undermines any claim to the protection of identity through the use of DNA. If you can somehow gain access to a DNA profile then you could, in theory, create the means to pass yourself off as that person.

The world of Gattaca is not so fantastical anymore it seems. Let's see whether the Government responds to this with some line about how their profile dastabase is unhackable.

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