I'm back!

Basically, I have lain prone on a beach in France virtually immobile for the last six days. Generally, I like more active holidays – visiting cities, galleries, sites of historic interest or natural beauty – but as this was it for the summer – lying down was required. (And yes – I went there and back by train). No – I didn’t think about politics – other than four calls from the print press – I was a politics-free zone.

One of the calls was from The Independent on the back of answer to a parliamentary question I had tabled on the DNA database. Ironic really as part of my holiday reading was Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Next’ which is basically about the perils of DNA and mucking about with genes. He takes it to extreme of course – but that is what makes it a fun novel.

The media call fed into the more pragmatic side of DNA. The answer had come back to my question showing that something like 500,000 of the entries on the database had errors. Without going into the ins and outs of what I think about the dangers of the DNA database again (you can read my previous DNA article here) – at its very basic you would think accuracy was a key requirement?

You can read The Independent’s DNA story here. I will now be asking for an investigation into just how so many mistakes are not only made – but kept!

0 thoughts on “I'm back!

  1. Not for nothing is public administration moving from the crude ID card, single govt dept concept towards cross-dept “identity management” for the information held on citizens and visitors – and the same must apply to businesses and the links of people to those businesses. The Indy article I find very sensible, because the state of the DNA database is not at all unexpected. What this story really illustrates is how fragmented internally the Home Office (including its Agencies) is. Undoubtedly we are moving from a free society (where we can give any name we want to when asked for identification) to one where public administration will be able to connect up (data sharing) all of the information that it has about us, so the real questions are whether and how it is to be limited by statute in what it is permitted to do.