DNA database to hold samples of innocents for six years

The DNA of thousands of innocent people aged 16 and over are to be held on a national database for up to six years, under new government plans.

The DNA of thousands of innocent people aged 16 and over are to be held on a national database for up to six years, under new government plans.

The government agreed to revise its policy after condemnation by the European Court of Human Rights, opposition by rights groups and public outcry over the issue.

But the new plans merely halve the time originally proposed to retain DNA samples of all people held by police, regardless of whether they are found guilty of an offence, according to The Independent.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last year condemned the policy as indiscriminate and illegal, but since then 400,000 profiles have been added to the database, with at least a quarter of those samples from people not found guilty of an offence.

It emerged last month that more than one in 10 people, 5.5m in England and Wales, now have their details stored on the DNA database.

It includes up to 850,000 DNA profiles, plus a similar number of fingerprints, of people never convicted of a crime, according to The Telegraph.

Civil liberty groups have criticised home secretary Alan Johnson for failing to remove the DNA of innocent people from the database.

The grudgingly modified policy will create a repeat collision course with the courts, said Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said the home secretary does not seem to understand that the fundamental principle of innocent until proven guilty is at stake.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close