If, in the course of their investigation of crime, the police obtain an individual’s DNA profile why, if at all,
does the retention by the state of that profile constitute an interference with the individual’s privacy, and on
what basis should it be retained on a national database of such profiles?
The UK National DNA Database (NDNAD) has been implemented in 1995 and is today the oldest and today one of
the most important DNA database in the world which continue to growth. In September 2017, the national database
contained more than six millions of DNA profiles. The aim of this database is to enable police to identify unknown 1
and known suspects through their DNA samples which have been collected during investigations to link them to past
or present criminal oﬀences. These DNA are gathered both from crime scene or individuals body. DNA databases
represent hence an important resource for police in their investigations by storing DNA profiles. Despite its
usefulness, it is a very controversial area due to its interference with rights of individuals especially privacy rights
because of the individuals informations contained in DNA. This retention of personal data arise a new form of privacy,
the genetic privacy. Privacy is a major principle of human rights of individuals and a wide notion highly protected by
the European Court of Human Rights. Further, as ECtHR held in the case Leaden v Sweden, the mere retention of
personal data about individuals is an interference with privacy right under article 8 of the European Convention on
Human Rights. The retention of DNA is a human rights challenge particularly because it represents an interference 2
to privacy right of individuals in the use and retention of human DNA which contains the most sensible genetic and
personal characteristics of individuals and there are risks of significant impact on lives of individuals.
In order to explore the individuals concerns that DNA retention represents on privacy, this essay will first explore the
interference with this right to privacy because of the information stored in the database concerning individuals which
is very intrusive. Finally, this essay will argue the justification of this retention in such a national database even if it is a
threat to individuals privacy right through the benefits for the society as a whole.
DNA retention in a NDNAD is highly criticized due to the ethical, social and legal concerns related to the human right
issues involved. The most significant human right problem is the interference with privacy right of individuals due to
sensitive personal and genetic information about individuals which constitutes a disproportionate invasion of
informational and genetic privacy of those individuals. Privacy is today a fundamental human right for individuals it
can be considered the right to control the use and retention of personal data. It is recognized by both international
treaties and domestic law. At international level, the Universal...