Wednesday, September 08, 2004

DNA Fingerprinting 

This is an interesting article featuring an interview of one of the British scientists who discovered DNA fingerprinting.

There are so many privacy and civil rights issues related to DNA fingerprinting it's difficult to know where to start in discussing my own take on the technology, but a good place to start is this:

Technology happens, and trying to prevent it from happening is not a viable position. Too much good comes from technology to let doomsday predictions of specific applications prevent progress. The problem is, how to prevent the doomsday applications? Government regulation is the kneejerk, but I'm not sure this really works, and beaurocratic red tape can hold up progress just as much or more than shrieking doomsdayers...

What's the solution? I don't know. Let's see what Mr. DNA Fingerprint himself has to say about it:
Jeffreys advocates a truly national database including every individual, with strict restrictions on what information could be stored.
Government regulation it is! Take it to its logical extreme technologically and then cork the genie with regulation...how British of him.
Despite his misgivings, Jeffreys believes the technology has done far more good than harm.
I'll give him that for now...but one day his "truly national database" will fall into the wrong hands and...DOOMSDAY!


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