Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clarence Page is seeing a DNA slippery slope

Written for the Chicago Tribune via editorial in the Houston Chronicle:
Calls to take more DNA samples raise questions
As if President Barack Obama didn't have enough on his platter, he's calling for accused criminals to have their DNA samples collected and stored in a national database, whether they're convicted or not. He's a brave man to open that can of worms.
Just putting the words “DNA” and “database” together is like a tripwire to the crowd that still thinks Obama was secretly born in Kenya and has death panels in his health care overhaul.
And they're not alone. Just think: Will those Americans who bitterly oppose registration of their guns, for example, go along quietly with the registration of their genetic codes?
That's not quite what Obama is calling for, but it's a short slide down the slippery slope from keeping the DNA profiles of arrestees to keeping the profiles of everybody. And you don't have to be a so-called “birther” or “gun nut” to care about your privacy.
In an interview with the president on the 100th episode of America's Most Wanted, host John Walsh strongly suggested collecting the DNA profiles of arrestees into a single, national database.
Obama agreed that national data collection is “the right thing to do.” Individual states may have a database, he said, “but if they're not sharing it with the state next door, you've got a guy from Illinois driving over into Indiana, and they're not talking to each other.”
There is much more discussion, read it here.

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