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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134120 Find in a Library
Title: Advent of DNA Databanks: Implications for Information Privacy
Journal: American Journal of Law and Medicine  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(1990)  Pages:381-398
Author(s): A de Gorgey
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 18
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the privacy implications of databases containing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiles of individuals concludes that clearly defined standards regarding the collection of physical samples and the subsequent storage of DNA patterns are needed to prevent the unauthorized access by persons who are not investigating a particular crime.
Abstract: The FBI recommends a national coordination effort to achieve the full potential of DNA technology for law enforcement. Currently the FBI maintains a storehouse of conventional fingerprints from around the world to aid cold searches, in which suspects are unknown, and uses the Automated Fingerprint Identification System to search the files. A DNA databank would operate in a similar manner. However, unauthorized access is a concern. The Privacy Act of 1974 prevents the government from disclosing information collected for one purpose to be used for a different purpose without the individual's consent. However, this goal is consistently undermined by the government's use of the "routine use" exemption, which allows agencies to disclose information if the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which it was collected. Congress should enact legislation that imposes major penalties on unauthorized access or disclosure of information from DNA databases. Footnotes
Main Term(s): DNA fingerprinting; Legal privacy protection
Index Term(s): Computer privacy and security; Confidential records access; Databases; Right of privacy
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