UK DNA database shared with other countries

By EDRi · June 21, 2006

The UK Home Office has admitted that DNA stored in the UK National DNA
Database has been shared with other countries.

UK has today one of the largest law enforcement DNA database with profiles
from 3.5 million people, including 500 000 children under 16 years old. The
database was established in 1995.

Privacy concerns regarding the database have been expressed, especially when
the database was revealed to contained more than 50 000 DNA profiles of
children who have never been charged with any offence.

Recently, the UK Home Office Minister Joan Ryan has answered a question from
the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone regarding
the access of foreign law enforcement authorities to the database content.
Ryan said that there have been 519 requests for details from the database
since 2004, but no records are available before that year.

Featherstone considered that “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 also supported the idea of an independent watchdog to monitor the access
of foreign law enforcement authorities to the UK DNA Database.

On the other hand, the representative of the Home Office declared that: ”
The increasing ease of travel and communication between EU member-states has
also resulted in a higher risk of criminal activity crossing the borders of
EU member-states.” He also added that the data were provided only when
serious crimes were investigated.

DNA database is shared overseas (7.06.2006)

UK Home Office defends sharing DNA database (8.06.2006)

News and updates on the UK DNA Database