Monday, November 26, 2012

DNA and human rights violations

Because I am employed in the biometrics industry, I have maintained a professional interest in DNA (despite the fact that I do not write proposals for DNA products). According to some people, DNA is an absolutely wonderful and glorious thing, even if sometimes it takes a long time - such as a quarter century - to process it.

But the Ombudswoman for the government of Cyprus doesn't think DNA is all that wonderful:

THE MIGRATION Department is violating the human right to family life and privacy by forcing families with a foreign mother to undergo paternity testing at their expense to prove the father is a Cypriot national, according to the Ombudswoman’s Office.

Following a series of complaints made in 2011 concerning the practices of the migration department when dealing with families containing a foreign mother and Cypriot father, Ombudswoman Eliza Savvidou launched an investigation into the matter.

The result is the damning report against the department issued on October 31, 2012, which Savvidou said effectively violates human rights.

The problem for Savvidou is that Cypriot law provides no provision for the capture of DNA to investigate migration cases. And if it's not legal, it's not legal.

This is an example of something that both governments and businesses must examine. Technology is capable of doing all sorts of things, but how SHOULD technology be employed?
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