FECL 04 (March 1992):


The civil rights group, Liberty, has applied to the European Commission of Human Rights to challenge the covert establishment by the Metropolitan (London) Police of a DNA computer database.

Liberty is taking up the case of Roy Williams who gave a DNA sample voluntarily in a murder investigation. As a result of assisting the police in this way, he was eliminated as a suspect, However, unknown to him, the Metropolitan Police has secretly added the data from his DNA profile to their computer.

The legal officer of Liberty, John Wadham, said of the incident: "The police and Home Office have started storing DNA profiles without the knowledge or consent of individuals themselves, without the consent of parliament, and contrary to established data protection principles. This is clearly a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - the right to privacy".

Jolyon Jenkins


Source: Liberty, 21 Tabard Street, London SE1; ph: +44 71/403 3888