Thursday, June 08, 2006

DNA database goes travelling

For several months, Grant Shapps MP has been protesting about the retention of thousands of innocent children’s DNA samples on the National DNA Database – see his campaign pages.

It now emerges that DNA data is being shared with
law agencies overseas.

Junior Home Office Minister Joan Ryan said requests for international profiles were rare until comparatively recently. Data on foreign requests for information was not collated until 2004.

In another parliamentary answer, she said the Identity Cards Act allowed information to be shared with overseas authorities for criminal investigations and proceedings.

Lib Dem home affairs spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone, who obtained the figures, said they were a "bad omen" for the identity card register.

"There are no real safeguards in place to control this huge database which leaves it open for misuse - and now we find out it's not only being misused in our country but also internationally," she said.

Well, quite. And presumably, once the relevant sections of the ID Card Act come into force, we can expect a steady trickle of ‘soft’ police intelligence to find its way overseas.

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