Ethics and Policy of Biometrics

Volume 6005 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 27-39

Legislative and Ethical Questions regarding DNA and Other Forensic "Biometric" Databases

  • Elazar (Azi) ZadokAffiliated withFormer Director of the Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), The Israel Police


Forensic Science is gaining more importance in criminal justice, since the development of new sensitive and accurate scientific tools, and the construction of large computerized databases. Although very effective, these databases pose a lot of legislative and ethical concerns. In case of DNA concerns are deeper since it contains sensitive genetic information regarding its owner, not necessarily needed for his identification. This paper focuses on issues related to the collection, utilization and retention of DNA samples and profiles of legally innocent populations, illustrated by a case study where a voluntarily given DNA sample for a murder investigation successfully solved three non related rape cases.