Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DNA rentention?

Just been reading through the text-heavy Tory manifesto. Under the section on DNA it says,
The indefinite retention of innocent people’s DNA is unacceptable, yet DNA data provides a useful tool for solving crimes.

We will legislate to make sure that our DNA database is used primarily to store information about those who are guilty of committing crimes rather than those who are innocent. We will collect the DNA of all existing prisoners, those under state supervision who have been convicted of an offence, and anyone convicted of a serious recordable offence.

We pushed the Government to end the permanent retention of innocent people’s DNA, and we will change the guidance to give people on the database who have been wrongly accused of a minor crime an automatic right to have their DNA withdrawn.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong on this, but that sounds essentially like permanent retention of data unless you ask for it to be removed; rather than the pro-active removal of innocent peoples' data..

Granted, the right to have your data removed if you're innocent, is sound, and completely different to the Labour approach which will keep it for six years whether you're guilty or not.

However, just because people will have the automatic right to have the data removed, it doesn't mean they'll exercise it, so won;t you have much the same situation as Labour without the sunset clause of six years?

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