Italian officials prepare the law for a DNA database
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Italy is preparing its DNA database law, claiming that it needs
harmonization with the other European states situation, but forgetting about
the privacy concerns. According to col. Luciano Garofano from RIS (Reparti
Investigazioni Scientifiche), it is not very long until the law allowing
archiving DNA data will be in place.
In Garofano’s opinion, Italy is actually one of the last to have a
legislation in the domain and the problem is that although Italy has signed
the Prüm treaty to exchange data, it has no data to exchange.
The colonel believes that Italy needs this database that would be efficient
in identifying criminals as well as innocent people. Experts however fear
that there is a risk of theft of genetic data that could be used abusively
as well as of the possibility of relying too much on this database ignoring
checks of various typologies and sources.
Garofano believes advantage should be taken of the new technologies and data
privacy issues should not stand in the way of security. He thinks privacy
should not be a justification not to draft a law that would be for the
security of the Italian citizens.
A draft law has already been made by the National Committee for Biosecurity,
Biotechnology and Life Science (Comitato Nazionale per la Biosicurezza, le
Biotecnologie e le Scienze della Vita), a draft that stipulates the
gathering of data from those that have infringed the law and might face more
than 3 years of imprisonment as well of those that are imprisoned.
“A law is absolutely necessary but it must be evaluated with extreme
caution. It is a good think that the gathered data is based on
alphanumerical sequence and not on biological samples” said Francesco
Pizzetti, the president Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la
protezione dei dati personali). He also expressed the hope that the
authority’s experience would be taken into consideration and that the
Parliament would listen to the opinions of the Authority.
Italy – ready for the Big Genetic Database (only in Italian, 29.06.2007)