Be 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 places.

Adam Richard Fish
Summer Fellow
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics

Index to more materials by Mr. Fish.


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