@NO2ID 30% of the population could end up on the Cancer DNA database.Is that a concern?

The use of DNA profiling to build up a database that can be used in cancer research is a noble aim but the fact that it is being carried out by a Gov;t that has been trying to build a national database on all of its citizens, for some time, rings alarm bells

The concept of anonymisation seems to make this medical database innocuous but this would seem to make it a pointless exercise.

I find it difficult to believe that the Government would set up a database with just two fields: the DNA profile and the form of cancer succumbed to.

There would have to be other fields such as related conditions and environmental factors that may have triggered the cancer e.g. lung cancer and smoking, skin cancer and U-V exposure or petroleum exposure.

The nature of databases would inevitably mean that there would be a key field, which might well be indexed to G.P.’s surgery and other medical data.

The whole concept of anonymisation is flawed, especially when one considers that the NHS is being privatised, meaning that large medical companies with experience of data-mining, would very easily connect names to profiles and sell the information on.

OK it’s only those who die of cancer, who will be tagged, but 30% of the population die of cancer.

I share the DNA of both my parents, as do my siblings, which means that, although my DNA profile would be excluded (to the best of my knowledge), it wouldn’t be hard to gain a reasonable appreciation of its make-up from my relatives.

OK! why be concerned? I’m not a criminal. No! not as I see it.

However, what if I become further disaffected by losses of civil liberty and I am re-designated as a dissident/criminal, as has happened to those, in many other countries.

A recent cold case was solved when a man was profiled and found to be a close match to that of the perpetrator in the case. A little police work and a close relative of the man was caught and later convicted.  A victory for the whole idea of having a national database of DNA profiles.

But, again, it’s a question of trust.

Back when fingerprints first became the big aid in criminal investigation, when people trusted politicians to act in the interest of the people, rather than lining their own pockets, these arguments were gone over and it was the politicians and the Government of the day, who rejected the notion of a national fingerprint database.

Consider the distrust generated by the moving force of privatisation, prompting Today’s politicians. Add the fact that they are not concerned about protecting my Civil Liberty, as was the case in the past. Add their persistent attempts at partial national databases e.g. All school children, all convicted criminals, all immigrants seeking British nationality and probably others that haven’t been exposed by The Press.

A DNA profile of those falling victim to Cancer is a very worthwhile Social tool but it’s not the database that’s the problem, it’s who really wants it, who else will use it (insurance companies?), whether it will be used to  as a form of social control and who can be trusted with access to it.


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