Thursday, March 25, 2010

How do we go about getting copyrights on our DNA?

In Ohio this week, Governor Strickland was just sent a bill that would allow for the collection of a suspect's DNA if they are arrested in connection with a felony crime.  Not convicted mind you... just anyone who is picked up off the street will now be compelled to give up their DNA.  And, of course, it's not just for a one-time use to exonerate someone - once you give up your DNA it's in a government database forever.  And once it's gone, you don't get to control how it's used.  Think about that...  when you're proven innocent, you don't get to force them to delete your DNA data from their databases.  Or restrict who it's shared with.  And even though it's only for felonies now, this seems to be a slippery slope.  It doesn't seem so far fetched anymore to wonder if a routine traffic stop will someday result in a swabbing.  Or, maybe we should get all Minority Report and swab all newborns.  Pre-crime is the future!

Of course, the sound byte on this is that this will help law enforcement identify criminals and get them off the street.  You aren't soft on crime, are you!?  You're a law abiding citizen, so you have nothing to worry about.  This will make you safer.  That's always the tradeoff, isn't it?  Liberty, or security.  Security or liberty.