Wednesday, October 7, 2009

National DNA Database

The National

UAE is urged to find a balance

Marten Youssef and Kareem Shaheen

  • Last Updated: October 06. 2009 11:57PM UAE / October 6. 2009 7:57PM GMT

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the man who invented DNA fingerprinting. Rui Vieira / PA

As the UAE set off on a course to compile the world’s first National DNA Database, the inventor of the technique that underpins it said yesterday that the country will need to find a balance between crime-fighting and civil rights.

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the British geneticist whose invention has been used by police forces worldwide, said there needed to be “full transparent justification of why a universal database is needed compared with a criminal DNA database”. “I would need very substantial reassurance on the type of information that will be stored in that database, on the security of that database,” said Sir Alec.

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