Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
16 May 2007

Just for a change neither of them have to do with terrorism. Eszter brought to my attention a feature in Popular Photography (US) about parents whose innocent (to them) pictures of their children were treated as suspicious by photo developers and resulted in their being criminally prosecuted. You can read the self-published story of a grandmother who fell foul of this culture of suspicion here.

The other story I heard on the radio this morning (listen to it here). Because (it seems) of arrest targets UK police have, a 13 year old child who shoplifted a single roll of candy worth around 40p was taken to the police station, cautioned, fingerprinted and had his DNA taken and stored.

I am not too worried about building up a DNA database per se but I am a little concerned that the fact that someone’s DNA turns up in the database could be taken by future employers or others as evidence of criminality itself, if one day it were to become public.

1 Comment »

  1. David,

    You should be more worried. As of last July approximately a third of the profiles in the NDNAD were for innocents. See http://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/dna_1million.html for more info.

    As background on this issue, you may want to check this post: http://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/dna_consultation.html

    As for the “kiddie porn” same thing happens here (UK) as well. A few years ago it was reported Boots the chemist regularly informs the Police of any pictures they deem suspicious.

    br -d

    Comment by David Mery — 18 May 2007 @ 3:16 am

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