But in reality as long as they aren’t sequencing it its not so much a problem. Plus, do I trust our govt? It could just be a legal loophole that the conviction is unsafe. That’s a very interesting article. Data Mining: The Greater Good Or Invasion Of Privacy. population is the opportunity for more advanced research. has discriminated against minorities, such as Personally I have no problem with the Government having access to the DNA. The key question is the use to which this data is put and the nature of the authorities wanting to use it. This is a Utilitarian argument, in which a reduction in privacy for a small set The problem comes with the use of the DNA. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. social media and historical criminal offences to assign people with ‘social scores’, granting The author has mentioned contractualism, but I believe a further insight into the historical concepts of the social contract would provide a broader ethical background to fully consider this issue. Genetic and genomic research requires access to human DNA from biological specimens, which can be stored and used in multiple areas of research. Balanced on both sides, do try and bring in the theories. Users of DNA services agree to the terms and conditions that their data can be sold on to third parties. If you don’t want it to be used, don’t donate it. The only issue comes with the use of said DNA. contractualism because they depend on each person prioritising their own I’ve read the article. If the legal system takes merely circumstantial evidence such as DNA as the sole basis for a conviction then that is not proof “beyond reasonable doubt” and its the fault of the legal system not the DNA evidence. of the population (customers of DNA services) results in a significant increase But with a failed polygraph test, eye witness accounts & then the familial DNA – I believe would make a safe conviction. cater to the whole group. a million). I hesitantly suggest, that in a western democracy, it wouldn’t be outrageous to trust DNA data to be used wisely, responsibly, and for genuinely good purposes. Research into DNA collection at crime scenes has exposed Case law in Australia states that there is no ownership of the body or body parts. Good point. I very much agree with Alex Pearl’s comment where he states that the answer to the question initially posed would very much depend on which world governments we’re talking about. It’s all there in the fine print: Testing companies can claim ownership of your DNA, allow third parties to access it, and make your DNA vulnerable to hackers.” Ai-yi-yi! Obviously, if it is being used to solve crimes. Although the philosophy of self-ownership has its own issues it was a good starting point. Obviously the system at present is not perfect, but given continued improvements in safeguards the overall benefits do seem to outweigh risks. includes both ancestry and health information. In the cases of tiny percentages of DNA (so not enough to get a full match, but a familial match only), I think there needs to be other concrete & not circumstantial evidence. privacy over others. However, following the same path of reasoning, the governments/organised societies would not obey any rules in the same way as people without having “signed” the social contract were living in chaos and anarchy. Thanks for your reply. withdrawn for unnecessary invasion. There are many reports of false DNA matches during criminal investigations, but I see no reason there couldn’t be false readings when people submit their DNA, or mix up’s resulting in DNA samples getting switched after individuals send them in. Extrapolating from these observations I suspect most people do care about their family history. One thing you say which I don’t initially agree with is that people view their identity as a social construction, therefore meaning they wouldn’t mind information about their families past being made public. main argument for giving the government access to private company’s DNA data. Kantian Theory states that people’s moral autonomy should be respected, thus they ‘should (be able to) determine what is morally right through reasoning’. The Human Genetics Commission conducted a citizens’ enquiry about issues surrounding the National DNA Database – they found a unanimous agreement that the public was not educated about their rights, regarding their DNA and how it is used. One of the main moral problems, outlined in the article, is the trade-off between privacy (individual benefit) and potential (though not guaranteed for everyone) benefits. You own your DNA; this sentence makes it clear that nothing we do takes, or has ever taken, that ownership from you.” “Second, we’re clear that because you are owner of your DNA, we need you to grant us a license to your data so that we can provide our products and services to you … geneticists estimate that if 2% of the population used DNA testing services, 90% of people of European descent could be In April 2018, a forty-five-year manhunt came to an end, human right enforced by international law, Most details about these errors are confidential, The Human Genetics Commission conducted a citizens’ enquiry, Single Use Plastics in the Medical Industry, The Heaven of Artificial intelligence Vs. its Ugly face. The government is an ever-changing process working to its own Would more criminal cases arise due to this data existing or would it be reduced because the data can be used. potential for harm with wrongful conviction, as well as encouraging the virtues Let us imagine that the government were to turn corrupt and try and use this information against me, it strikes me there are two ways DNA recognition could infringe my privacy. If these steps were in place I would be for the Government having access. in the safety and well-being of the whole population. I recommended it to a friend. false DNA ‘matches’ and reversed convictions. Arguments against data sharing tend to focus on an The recent increase in usage of services raises several ethical considerations concerning how the public’s DNA data is used. Obviously the system is not yet perfect, mistakes are made and unscrupulous investigators could use it wrongly, but given improved safeguards the future benefits seem to outweigh the risks. Privacy is more than an emotional preference; protection of In conclusion, we believe the government should be given Firstly by revealing my family’s past, however in the current era where all identities are thought of as social constructs, this would carry little impact. Personally at the present time I see no issue with the authorities having access to our DNA data. cell. For example, the Chinese government tracks CCTV, If the DNA database would be used by the NHS for identifying diseases or donor matches, then the benefits could more easily outweigh the deficits, but this particular application isn’t worth trusting the government to implement. of people may be in favour if they could reap the benefits to the justice Being able to use samples of tissue however is different from owning them. After all, why would surreptitiously swabbing someone’s DNA be any different than If the legal system is using DNA circumstantial evidence as the sole basis for convictions then that is not proof “beyond reasonable doubt”. providing more DNA encourages a confirmation bias to find a match, irrespective In this respect, it is no different from accepting CCTV in our streets. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all 10,000 people were innocent. targeting genetic disease. decisions; without empathising with individuals, these decisions don’t actually Although having access to people’s DNA without their consent can certainly be seen as an invasion of privacy, I feel like this wouldn’t necessarily be as volatile as some of the other private information which is already being readily collected by organisations such as Google and Facebook.

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