Who Owns Your DNA?

from the interesting-legal-questions dept

The recent Louisiana serial killing manhunt has brought up a separate, but interesting, legal question. Who owns the right to your DNA? Police, in hunting for the killer, set up a “DNA dragnet”, whereby they asked locals to “voluntarily” donate a sample of their DNA. Many say that the voluntary nature of this exercise wasn’t so voluntary – and even the police admit that those who avoid such dragnets are moved up on the suspect list. Now, however, since a suspect has been arrested, one of those who donated his DNA is asking for it back. The police are refusing – leading to the question of who owns the rights to your DNA? Especially in a situation where the collection was “voluntary”, shouldn’t people have the right to remove them from the database?

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Comments on “Who Owns Your DNA?”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

What's the precendent?

If you work in a place where a crime is committed and the police have all the employees fingerprinted to try and figure out which prints don’t match the employees, or some similar situation where you are not guilty of a crime and aren’t even a suspect, but evidence is collected to rule you out, is that information kept by the police?

On C.S.I. and all the other shows where they run a fingerprint through the database and get a match, it’s always something like “he applied for a gun permit, so we had his prints on file” or something benign like that, it’s never “he worked some place that was burglarized and was printed even though he had nothing to do with the crime”.

Anonymous Coward says:

since I joined the military...

…the government owns my DNA.

I hope that they use it to build a cybernetic being far surperior to the current tax-paying meat sacks… but, as well all know, if I become a problem the government won’t hesitate to use it to frame me for some random crime.

Hey, some people decided to become parents the wet-ware way, some people donate to sperm banks and “some people just get exploited by the Man”(tm)

Seriously though… If I ever find out the my DNA is sequenced and put into production, I’ll expect royalties, thank you very much.

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