DNA Profiling Bill vis-a-vis Right to Privacy
Serious concerns have been raised regarding various provisions of the bill ranging from its reliability to its potential for misuse and errors. Among others, right to privacy is one of the important concern of this bill. These concerns are discussed as below:
- The bill does not guarantee that data will not be used for anything other than specified purpose. Its proposal to constitute a national DNA databank for forensic and non-forensic purposes, could be misused if not accompanied strong privacy laws.
- Other than criminal investigation, bill allow use of data for non-forensic purposes such as to identify victims of accidents or disasters, to identify missing persons, and for civil disputes. The objection is that this data could be used by state for surveillance over its citizens, thus making them vulnerable.
- The bill allows a sample to be collected from a suspect for any offence without any judicial or other oversight. Even in a minor crime government can take DNA sample of large number of suspects. This exercise does not require any consent of the individual, his parent or guardian. So, this could be misused because any individual could be falsely arrested on suspicion basis with the sole purpose of obtaining his DNA.
- Then, there is no clear provision regarding deletion of DNA profiles of suspects’ arrested in a crime whose conviction was overturned. The bill says deletion will be implemented as per the notification of court. Critics argue that there should be a proper time frame so as to maintain the trust of public.
- The bill even allows the creation of population statistics, identification research, parental disputes, issues relating to reproductive technologies and migration.
- These provisions could one day allow the government to push civilians to provide DNA data.
- Linking UID to DNA -> all personal data with government.
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