Europe court ruled UK DNA database violated privacy rights

On December 4, 2008, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled that the British practice of keeping the fingerprints and DNA profiles of people arrested but not convicted of crimes violated privacy protections. The case was originally brought by UK nationals Michael Marper and a juvenile plaintiff named as "S." The decision from the ECHR came after database proponent Lord Justice Stephen Sedley called for the creation of a national DNA database for all UK citizens and visitors in September 2007. The UK Home Office has consistently denied that there are plans to create such a compulsory DNA database.

Coat of arms of the United Kingdom

Learn more about the United Kingdom and the laws governing DNA databases from the JURIST news archive.


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