DNA sampling for troops - thin end of the wedge?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Uncivil_Servant, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. From Defence Intranet (cut & paste job for those without DII access):

    "Voluntary DNA sampling introduced for all operational troops

    The MOD has announced today, Friday 25 January 2008, details of a new, voluntary DNA Sampling Scheme for new recruits as well as Service personnel and civilians who are deploying on operations. The scheme will offer troops the chance to have a DNA sample taken and stored in order to help speed up military inquests and make the process of identification less traumatic for families.

    Minister for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth MP, said:

    "Although the risk of death is small for personnel deployed on operations, the possibility is a fact of life. In some cases, for example in the loss of aircraft, traditional techniques for identification are not sufficient.

    "DNA matching is a failsafe method but collecting samples from personal effects or family members can be prolonged and traumatic. Our aim is to minimise pain and distress to families by taking precautionary measures in advance to enable deceased personnel to be identified quickly."

    Until now DNA samples have only been held for aircrew or those involved in flying duties. Participation in the scheme is voluntary but strongly encouraged. Samples will be stored securely at the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine and can be destroyed on written request by the Service person when they leave service, or after 45 years, whichever is sooner.

    It is anticipated that the scheme will be ready for the next major roulement in March 2008."

    The benefits for easy identification notwithstanding, is there a risk that this database would be used for other purposes? Would you be happy for MoD to hold your DNA?
  2. Hmmm,

    Handy for IDing bodies, but info needs to be controlled strictly.
  3. You all know what the bolded bit means.

    Voluntary! As if. :x
  4. They'll put all the info on a CD. Then send it off to Ireland and lose it.

    I can't see this being a bad idea as long as the information is strictly controlled and not used for passing about where necessary.
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Considering the MoD already knows pretty much everything there is to know about you, especially those with DV etc I hardly think its a big deal. And as has been said, it helps greatly should you get malleted in an aircraft crash.
  6. Given the Gubmint's (and their various agencies, including the MOD) previous record on keeping confidential information secure my confidence is not high.

    Anyway (tinfoil headgear on) maybe it's all part of the big brother is watching conspiracy, slowly the overlords will know more and more about you until finally there will be no escaping. (tinfoil headgear off)
  7. God help the Army if the CSA gets their hands on it.
  8. Its not the fact of the MoD having this info but just what exactly are the rest of the government agencies going to do with their copy, which will have been sent on an non-encrypted cd in the post.

    Once they have this info you will never be able to get it destroyed/removed from your records. They might destroy the original but by then there will be a LOT of copies of it floating about.
  9. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

  10. Would give it about 6 to 7 weeks before the data is combined with the UK national database and then (as is already the case) shared with all our EU chums.

    At the rate technology is advancing within a couple of years it will be possible to do a DNA test within a few minutes (rather than sending off the results to a lab with a 6 week waiting list).

    When it comes to personal DNA protection I am firmly in the tin-foil hat wearing brigade. I do not want the Government to sell it to life insurance companies or pension providers. I don't want my health insurer to know my DNA code. If my DNA is analysed by these companies as 'Healthy' or similar, then the amount of money charged by my pension company goes up, and hopefully the premium for my health insurance would decrease.

    I could go on but I will just withdraw to the kitchen and wrap some more bacofoil around my head.
  11. I think "Voluntold" is the term you're looking for 8O

  12. Anyone else remember a pre-deployment "dental inspection" consisting of (a) a dental X-ray and (b) an unexplained swab taken from the inside of your mouth?
  13. If it means no more id tags all for it.Those got boring real quick .
  14. It doesn't mean no dog tags. It is a back up to those.

    I am all for it. As long as someone, remotely credible, promises these samples will be held on an MoD database and will NOT be shared with all and sundry, or shipped to Iowa (for example) and lost. On his scouts honour.

    This sort of ID could mean the end of the family/friends and comrades having to look at a bloody pulp and id them from a crap tattoo or a remembered scar.

    Likewise the bits can all be fitted back together if neccesary.

    What happened to the "computer dog tag" that would hold all your med docs? Has it been binned? Sure it was in Soldier magazine a few years ago.
  15. Might as well go the whole hog and brand a fecking Barcode on our foreheads!

    DNA is not as 100% foolproof as they make us believe, although probably limited, there are people with the same DNA profile, as reveald on BBC Panorama last year in the case of a double murder somewhere in the south of england. The DNA profile lead them to an address in Chester, but this poor chap that lived there had Parkinsons's Disease and couldn't get out of his own house, let alone climb through a window and Kill someone as had happened at the murder scene.