New York has a state DNA database that stores the DNA information of convicted criminals. The database is under the control of the FBI and New York’s State Commission on Forensic Science. No one has access to the DNA records except government officials.
However, information has leaked that there is a separate, unauthorized DNA database that skirts government control. Alarmingly, this database stores thousands of New Yorker’s genetic information. These profiles are of individuals with no criminal record, and some of them are children 12 years old. The database is called the “Subject Index.”
Genetic information for the Subject Index has been acquired in various ways. For instance, one 12-year-old boy was suspected of a crime. During his interview, the interviewers gave him a soda to drink with a straw. They later extracted his DNA from the straw. Neither the boy nor his parents knew about this.
Although the boy’s DNA didn’t match the DNA at the crime scene, his DNA was still put in the Subject Index. It stayed there for over a year. Unfortunately, this poor boy became a perpetual suspect in crime investigations; his DNA was evaluated against thousands of crime scene DNA samples until his parents filed a lawsuit to have his profile removed from the database.
It’s more imperative than ever to guard our genetic information and only submit your DNA to a company you trust.
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