Excessive Retention of DNA Profiles Violates Privacy
In R (GC and C) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  UKSC 21, the Supreme Court ruled that excessive retention of DNA profiles violated a person's right to privacy under European human rights law. The UK Government will have to provide new legislation or at least new guidance restricting the retention of DNA profiles and other personal data where suspects are not charged, or defendants acquitted following a Supreme Court ruling, Pete Weatherby , of GCN, was interviewed for Lexis Nexis Current Awareness (published 27/5/11), about the issues raised by the case.
Extracts from the article as follows:
The judgment is useful, [Pete] Weatherby says, in that it brings the Grand Chamber ruling in S and Marper v UK directly into domestic law. He continues: âIt also asserts that the probable legislative solution â to introduce a system similar to the Scottish model, where DNA profiles are only retained, where there are no convictions, in cases of serious sexual and violent offences, and then only for a limited time (three years initially) â would likely be compatible with the Convention.â
He adds: âThis judgment renders the current policy unlawful, but practitioners should be mindful of the legislative changes which are expected to be made in the near future. Although the police may be more willing to remove data from the database in light of this ruling the courts are likely to be reluctant to give relief pending the legislative changes that are afoot.â
He says, therefore, that it is unlikely that there will be a surge of further such claims at present. âIt is to be hoped that the Government will announce a review of the information currently on the database once the new legislation is in place. Otherwise many individuals will wish to pursue claims at that stage.â
> 27/5/11 - Excessive Retention of DNA Profiles Violates Privacy (LexisWeb) - link to the full article
> R (GC and C) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  UKSC 21 judgment