Enhance Product Development examines DHS’ DNA Records Changes

Enhance Product Development reviews DHS’s use of DNA in Privacy Act of 1974.

ID: DHS-2019-0042-0001 

October 29, 2019

Attention: Acting Chief Privacy Officer, DHS

Dear Sir,

In some countries, National DNA Data sources have proved to be useful devices in the fight versus criminal offense. However, Enhance Product Development is worried about just how it has actually evolved from a data source having genetic details on founded guilty bad guys to one that knows from a much broader team of individuals.

As an example, the UK National DNA Database holds the DNA profiles and also pertinent DNA samples from a choose number of UK individuals. It is the largest database of its kind on the planet a nd continues to grow each year. Every account in the UK National DNA Database is originated from an example of human material, such as saliva or hair, gathered from a criminal offense scene or cops suspects.

Nonetheless, many individuals protest the suggestion of prolonging the DNA database as a result of the potential hazard it needs to our privacy. While a DNA account supplies really little info concerning a person, their DNA example consists of details that can disclose their ethnic background or exactly how vulnerable they are to disease. The risk of information misuse is consequently possibly high.

In 2012, the UK Security of Freedoms Expense intended to remedy the balance between the State’s responsibility to secure the general public and a person’s right to personal privacy. As a result of the expense, 1,766,000 DNA profiles taken from innocent grownups as well as youngsters were erased from the database, together with 1,672,000 fingerprint records. Along with this, 7,753,000 DNA samples (480,000 from kids) containing sensitive personal biological material were damaged.

Nonetheless, two contentious problems still stay; just how the data source is used and how this is determined. The data source can already be utilized for some hereditary study studies as well as to identify partial matches, where close genetic relatives can be recognized from the DNA profiles of family members on the data source.

As genetic data sources end up being significantly common in various other countries (over 60 countries are currently operating one) the sharing of data between global police forces is most likely to raise. This may raise the vulnerability of databases to misuse and hacking. It likewise presents the challenge of distinctions in the rules for holding data which differ significantly in between various nations. Although one criterion might use in the UK, it might not apply somewhere else.

Below are several of the pros and cons of having a nationwide DNA data source. These questions should be seriously taken into consideration prior to applying changes.

1. Is the personal privacy of the individuals on a national DNA data source safeguarded?
2. Is appropriate consent given for the details of individuals to be made use of for various other purposes?
3. Is DNA forensic evidence precise?

enhance product development examines dna records keeping1. Is the personal privacy of the people on a nationwide DNA database secured?


Individual information is already held by teams in the economic sector. At Enhance Product Development, we think that if people can trust the economic sector, then they should be able to trust the Federal government.

In 2010, the UK Federal government vowed to make changes to the size of time DNA samples are kept in the UK National DNA Data Source. These consisted of in the 2012 Protection of Liberties Act. These modifications make sure that the DNA (as well as fingerprints) of people jailed but not founded guilty of an offense is maintained for a maximum of 5 years.


Individuals that provide their own individual information to the private sector do so willingly. A person has no choice on whether their DNA example is in a national DNA data source.

Currently, there are no extensive personal privacy laws that would prevent federal governments from sharing DNA profiles with various other groups, such as an insurer.

DNA examples are seldom ruined, which is significant since the info derived from an example could potentially be accessed by any individual.

The information included in DNA is limitless. Info concerning hair colour, eye colour and also genetic diseases can all be located in our DNA.

Who has the hereditary information and also who manages what happens to it and also just how it is used? Who is in charge of the genetic information isn’t clear and also is a cause for concern for individuals who have records on the database.

The UK 2008 Counter-Terrorism Act, as an example, enables safety and security employees because the country to ‘biologically’ track and determine people.

2. Is appropriate consent given for the information of individuals to be used for various other objectives?


The DNA Identification Act of 1994 (again in the UK) explicitly allows database documents to be made available for r & d as long as all directly recognizable info is removed.


Surely the DNA itself is personally identifiable info? We can learn all sort of individual data, from eye colour to risk of genetic disease, from our DNA.

Requests to access the data source might be for purposes for which the information was never ever initially planned as well as consequently private authorization has, likely, not been given.

Searching the DNA database for partial suits elevates problems for the personal privacy of the loved ones of people who are on the database.

There is the potential for the info in the DNA database to be misused by the Federal government, safety solutions, police or offenders. For example, it might reveal private info, such as DNA paternity.

3. Is DNA forensic proof accurate?


To lower the possibility of errors, scientists examination DNA profiles for greater than one hereditary pen. The more similar markers there remain in 2 examples, the extra exact the test.

The possibility that two unconnected people have identical DNA accounts is less than one in one billion. The imperfection of DNA screening originates from the reality that only a small portion of DNA is checked.

Therefore DNA screening frequently comes with a small percentage of error. However, this does not stop the outcomes of DNA screening being seen as reliable in a court.

DNA profiling may be more objective as well as precise than various other forensic techniques that rely on subjective judgments and analyses.

The DNA data source is not planned to replace standard criminal investigations however, to match them by identifying prospective suspects quicker.


At Enhance Product Development we are concerned about the errors in DNA screening, which happens fairly frequently.
It has been said that as several as one in every hundred forensic examinations done on the DNA of suspected offenders may give a false result.

False suits in between an individual’s DNA account and also a criminal activity scene DNA profile can take place by chance. Poor laboratory practices can bring about cross-contamination or mislabel of examples, and test results can be misunderstood.

DNA can be damaged by ecological variables such as warm, sunlight as well as germs. This may influence the accuracy of the tests executed.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor Lambert, CEO at Enhance Product Development



Posted on

October 29, 2019

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