The legal, social and ethical controversy of the collection and storage of fingerprint profiles and DNA samples in forensic science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The collection and storage of fingerprint profiles and DNA samples in the field of forensic science for nonviolent crimes is highly controversial. While biometric techniques such as fingerprinting have been used in law enforcement since the early 1900s, DNA presents a more invasive and contentious technique as most sampling is of an intimate nature (e.g. buccal swab). A fingerprint is a pattern residing on the surface of the skin while a DNA sample needs to be extracted in the vast majority of cases (e.g. at times extraction even implying the breaking of the skin). This paper aims to balance the need to collect DNA samples where direct evidence is lacking in violent crimes, versus the systematic collection of DNA from citizens who have committed acts such as petty crimes. The legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the proliferation of DNA collection and storage are explored, with a view to outlining the threats that such a regime may pose to citizens in the not-to-distant future, especially persons belonging to ethnic minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Implications of Emerging Technologies, ISTAS'10
Pages48-60
Number of pages13
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 IEEE Internationl Symposium on Technology and Society: Social Implications of Emerging Technologies, ISTAS'10 - Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Duration: Jun 7 2010Jun 9 2010

Publication series

NameInternational Symposium on Technology and Society, Proceedings

Conference

Conference2010 IEEE Internationl Symposium on Technology and Society: Social Implications of Emerging Technologies, ISTAS'10
CountryAustralia
CityWollongong, NSW
Period6/7/106/9/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Michael, K. (2010). The legal, social and ethical controversy of the collection and storage of fingerprint profiles and DNA samples in forensic science. In Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society: Social Implications of Emerging Technologies, ISTAS'10 (pp. 48-60). [5514654] (International Symposium on Technology and Society, Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1109/ISTAS.2010.5514654