Is DNA Database an Ethical Issue?

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In an ideal world, we would walk freely knowing we aren’t being tracked. However in our reality more and more people get entered to a DNA database everyday. DNA profiling is a technique in which the police compare DNA found at the crime scene to someone else DNA from the database to see if they can get it to match up with someone. The UK were the first country to begin using the forensic DNA ‘revolution’ The process of DNA profiling was first used in 1983 to help solve the murder of two teenagers, since then the database has gotten a lot more larger and a lot more dangerous. The main purpose of forensic DNA database is to provide the police with evidence on who may have been present at the crime scene. The use of DNA profiling as much as it seems great at first is very unethical and poses many threats to our society and country as a whole.

One of the biggest issues surrounding DNA profiling is that If police can’t find a database match for DNA taken from a crime scene, they may then look at partial DNA matches. This could lead to innocent people being wrongfully pursued for a crime. This happens too often, sending innocent men and women to prison falsely accusing them of a crime they did not commit. This for one makes the policemen waste their own valuable time which is needed else where to serve and protect the country by finding real criminals. The person that gets falsely accused will be traumatized for the rest of their life spending however long in prison for a crime they know they didn’t commit without a easy way to prove it wasn’t them all because they were at the place a crime was committed, they could of been there hours before if not days and the DNA would still remain and still put them in danger of being falsely accused.

Another massive issue with DNA profiling is that keeping a DNA database is a further infringement of privacy and human rights. We all have a right to privacy as stated under article 12 of the 1948 universal declaration of human rights, the article reads that ‘No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation’. This means that everyone has the right to know that no one is using their personal data for other uses and they are safe, However the use of a database disregards the right as we don’t know how, when and who is going to use it. We should have no doubt that our DNA is safe and can’t be used against us in any way shape or form but we do have these doubts for good reason as in many cases the DNA has been misplaced over even stolen by hackers that intend to use the DNA stored to frame people or track them. The database simply isn’t secure and can pose a massive threat to peoples privacy.

Individuals on the DNA database may be seen as potential offenders rather than law abiding citizens. If the database is extended beyond just convicted criminals, everyone would be seen as possible suspects. If a crime is committed and you are in the database you are instantly a suspect but if u didn’t do anything you have nothing to worry about, this is not the case the technique is not 100% accurate so even though the chances are slim there is still a chance that you may be wrongfully accused. Everyone that hasn’t committed a crime should know that they are in not danger of getting accused and should be able to walk freely as the good citizen they are. There should be a 100% grantee that no innocent will go guilty and until then using the DNA database puts innocent civilians in danger. We would eventually turn into a nation of suspects.

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The DNA database if far to expensive, DNA processing take a massive amount of time and even more money, because of all the facilities and equipment it takes an extraordinary amount of funding from the government. From the governments viewpoint they’d have to create new sectors within there already existing civil-services to manage the database. The new sectors will also consume more of the governments income to pay for staff, upgrades to technology etc. It’s all just fat to expensive for a country that can’t even feed and cloth its population. The money could be going into better things like reducing the hungry and poor throughout the country but we decide to waste it on an unreliable, dangerous database.

Governments can and do abuse data. Obviously the government will be in control of the database which means they will have easy access to information regarding everyone in the country. There will all ways be people who disagree with the government and go against it and if it was mandatory to enter the database their very own DNA would be in the government’s hands, the government will abuse their personal information for malicious intent, tracing the individuals information and doing whatever they can to take down the individual. We don’t need to discuss if DNA database’s could be abused or not, the UK government has already shown us in past events that they are not able to keep our data secure.

We all have a right to live in a society free of crime and for some the DNA database is a step towards that. It has proved helpful in the case where there are minimal DNA samples at the crime scene and that the DNA found was a clear 100% compatible match with someone else’s DNA, when such a situation occurs the database makes it a whole lot easier to find the criminal and provides solid evidence along with it. However this is a very rare situation and even if there was minimal DNA found at the scene it could’ve easily been damaged by environmental factors such as sunlight, heat, bacteria the list goes on, if the DNA does in fact get damaged it will decrease the accuracy of the tests carried out dramatically.

In this reality where such databases exist it brings more harm then good although proven to be very useful in a rare scenarios it puts innocent people in far too much danger, it’s scary knowing that if you went to go have a coffee and then later there was a robbery and your DNA prints were the only ones there it makes you the key suspect. There is just to many wrongs that out-weigh the rights, the arrest of an innocent could start riots and ruin reputations of police departments. There is also something inherently disturbing about trying to keep everyone’s DNA in a database don’t you think? The police lie, after a suspect has their conviction quashed the DNA stored should be destroyed, however the police like to keep the DNA sometimes although it is mandatory it gets destroyed. The big conclusion is that the database is highly unethical and takes away our rights. I urge anyone to speak up about this because the more people that speak, the more that people will listen.

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Is DNA Database an Ethical Issue? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/is-dna-database-an-ethical-issue/
“Is DNA Database an Ethical Issue?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/is-dna-database-an-ethical-issue/
Is DNA Database an Ethical Issue? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/is-dna-database-an-ethical-issue/> [Accessed 7 Jul. 2022].
Is DNA Database an Ethical Issue? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Jul 7]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/is-dna-database-an-ethical-issue/
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