Former "Old Labour" MP, now Lord Clive Soley of Hammersmith, has called, via his blog, for a public debate on his idea that everyone should be registered on the National DNA Database, a suggestion which he has made in a speech in the House of Lords.
Lord Soley's primary reason for promoting this idea appears to be a "Law and Order" one, rather than any possible medical benefits of mass DNA testing. This seems to be another case of the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" fallacy so common amongst proponents of centralised Government databases like the proposed National Identity Register.
This is an evil idea, which we hope to persuade him against, once he has been alerted to the privacy and security issues and cost / benefits. At least by being one of the rare British politicians who runs a weblog which accepts comments from the public, he might be amenable to a reasoned argument.
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published a useful 4 page background to the jargon and statistics which surround the so far mostly uninformed press reports about the National DNA Database:
(Hat tip to Louise Ferguson via the Open Rights Group)
This background paper is quite succinct, but it does the miss out the Human Tissue Act 2004 and its implications. for non-consenusal DNA analysis and the controversial retention of human tissue samples which could be re-tested to reveal paternity or medical data,
These retained human tissue samples can also be analysed via RNA analysis or Chromosome analysis or Protein Folding and other Genetic Profiling techniques, which can yield essentially the same identification data as DNA profiling. These existing and constantly developing scientific techniques are not covered by any of the procedural safeguards in any of the legislation which simply mentions "DNA", and so could therefore be used to sidestep them.