Recently, the police involved you in a criminal investigation, saying they found your DNA at the crime scene. You may have a loose understanding of DNA fingerprinting, which law enforcement uses to identify individuals using strands of DNA, but do you know its pitfalls?
Vittana explores the cons of DNA fingerprinting in criminal investigations. To protect your rights, understand how modern technology could violate those rights.
DNA samples the police collect may go into a special database forever. If authorities do not have permission to gather a DNA sample, they could encounter privacy issues if they later access that genetic information. Once law enforcement determines it does not need a person’s DNA sample, it should have a system in place to purge it from the database.
Even if law enforcement recovers a person’s DNA from a crime scene, that does not incriminate the individual. The sample could be several hours old, and it may not tell the full, factual story of what happened at the scene.
Touted as an exact science, DNA fingerprinting does not always offer accurate results. One major factor that affects DNA matching accuracy is the DNA test performed.
The revelation of past security vulnerabilities showed hackers could infiltrate mobile devices and computers and snatch data. If hackers break into a DNA fingerprinting database, they could steal a person’s identity beyond her or his Social Security Number and name.
Law enforcement and those accused of criminal acts through the use of genetic information deserve to know how DNA fingerprinting works and its shortcomings. Sometimes, advanced technology does more harm than good.