[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
DNA database is shared overseas
The government has been compiling a DNA database since 1995
Information from the UK's controversial DNA database is being given to foreign law agencies, it has emerged.

The Home Office has revealed that other nations have made 519 requests for details from the database since 2004.

All of the requests were granted and the Liberal Democrats fear there are not enough checks on the system.

It emerged in January that 24,000 under-18s never cautioned, charged or convicted are on the database, which was established in 1995.

'Bad omen'

Junior Home Office Minister Joan Ryan said requests for international profiles were rare until comparatively recently. Data on foreign requests for information was not collated until 2004.

In another parliamentary answer, she said the Identity Cards Act allowed information to be shared with overseas authorities for criminal investigations and proceedings.

Lib Dem home affairs spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone, who obtained the figures, said they were a "bad omen" for the identity card register.

"There are no real safeguards in place to control this huge database which leaves it open for misuse - and now we find out it's not only being misused in our country but also internationally," she said.

"What confidence can we have in the government's reassurance of the DNA database having proper safeguards when, until last year, they didn't even collate requests properly?"

A Home Office spokesman said the data was only given to other countries when serious crimes were being investigated.

Under-18s DNA records to continue
16 Feb 06 |  UK Politics
Police DNA powers 'to be extended'
27 Mar 03 |  UK Politics
DNA database Big Brother warning
12 Jan 05 |  UK Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific