Wary of Growing DNA Database
by Adam Richard Fish
(Printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2001.)
The article, "State boosts database of felons' DNA" (June
25), celebrates the burgeoning DNA data bank to be used to fight crime
while ignoring ethical considerations.
Police technology, especially when it deals with the commodification of
human parts, should be given the strictest ethical scrutiny.
Supporters of the DNA database believe that the larger the number of
DNA codes on file, the more efficient criminal prosecution will be. If so,
it is in the best interest of effective criminal prosecution to promote
the acquisition of DNA codes from as many people as possible.
Requiring nonviolent criminals to donate DNA, as state Attorney General
Bill Lockyer has suggested, is the first sign that a trend may be
developing in which DNA codes will be acquired from innocuous individuals.
To say the least, the public should be suspicious of police prying into
our bodies and brains. The body and the mind are inviolably private
Adam Richard Fish
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
to more materials by Mr. Fish.