The discovery of DNA technology is considered one of the most revolutionary and beneficial contributions to the modern industrialized world. Not only has it led to formidable advances in medicine and genetic biology, but, in the past ten years, DNA technology also has become an important tool to law enforcement personnel and the legal community. Since 1986, police officers and lawyers have used DNA to find, apprehend, convict, and exonerate criminals ranging from burglars to murderers. The creation of the first DNA criminal investigative database in 1995 in Britain further enabled law enforcement to better exploit the uses of DNA technology and effect more acts of justice. As many more countries develop similar databases and seek to create one international databank, however, legislatures must ensure that the advancement of this tremendously powerful tool will not overshadow the fundamental right of privacy.
An International DNA Database: Balancing Hope, Privacy, and Scientific Error,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.