I have nothing to fear from a DNA database

Crime & Security, Science & Technology, Systems thinking

It’s tempting to think that DNA databases are OK, because it’s just a way of uniquely identifying someone, just like a long number which no one else has, which is intrinsically linked to you.

If you believe that, I can see why you think you may have nothing to worry about.

But the problem is that we do not know as much about DNA as we’d like to think we do.

Not only are our ideas about the uniqueness of DNA false, but also we do not know what DNA is responsible for. There have been studies claiming correlations with depression, alcoholism, and homosexuality, and now there’s a new study which shows a correlation with violent crime.

“This gene is predicting gang membership, but it’s really predicting it for the very violent gang members,” Beaver says.

from ‘Gangsta gene’ identified in US teens, 19 June 2009, New Scientist

We don’t have to look too far back in our history (uh oh), or too far in our future, to ponder what kind of rules well-meaning governments will do with this information. It would take a Government with considerably more spine than those we have seen of late to not react to a Daily Mail headline of “Government does nothing to stop violent gang members

Read ‘6 reasons never to give up your biometric data or DNA

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons

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