Now before you click away thinking that this is a tinfoil hat conspiracy, note that this has been going on for years and has been saving lives. Before I’ve talked about some of the technologies we should be afraid of:
But while the American government DNA database is a reality should we be afraid of it? First some background; as talked about in the CNN article this database has been around for decades collecting DNA samples from newborns that can be tested for various diseases. This testing has saved countless infants from fatal and debilitating diseases but what has the tinfoil hats outraged is the DNA samples are being kept indefinitely. The specific laws vary from state to state with some states like Texas allowing parents to erase their child’s DNA sample to Florida that keep the sample with the an attached name.
Privacy advocates are worried because this information could prevent people getting a job or health insurance in the future. Health insurance companies aren’t going to give someone insurance if they know they have potential for certain diseases or more susceptible to things like heart conditions or cancer. Like wise employers will shy away from hiring someone who might have the same problems. As it stands now the states claim the information is safe but with drives to privatize government programs its only a matter of time before this information falls into the hands of some conglomerate that might not have the same qualms of keeping the information secret. Also, another worry is that if they’re not already, the government could decide to crack down on some crimes by running a DNA sample from a crime through the state DNA database. At issue is the personal info attached to the DNA sample. Things like names exist in the state DNA databases. Having large DNA databases are useful for medical research but they don’t need the name of who the DNA sample belongs to. A database of anonymous DNA samples is fine but one that lists names attached to the samples is very troubling!