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News

National DNA database represents only a part of Government data security issues

InfoSecurity Europe : 04 August, 2008  (Technical Article)
InfoSecurity Europe online forum reveals data privacy issues are not as high with the national DNA database than with other databases which hold more useful information for data thieves
Mike Barwise, from Infosecurity Adviser, the online forum run by the Infosecurity Europe team, has revealed he is less concerned about the privacy issues that the National DNA Database creates than other planned government files.

'The media seems preoccupied at the moment about people's DNA being stored centrally, but the reality is that the database is really a one-dimensional invasion of citizen's privacy,' he said.

'Two-dimensional databases, such as the planned telecommunications database of the numbers that people call from their landlines and mobile phones, are much more worrying,' he added.

According to Barwise, when you factor in the time element to the planned government telecommunications database and add in location-based data from the cellular carriers, you create a three-dimensional view of the person concerned.

'Not only do you have the numbers called and the locations called from, but you have a time-based diary from which you can extrapolate their movements,' he explained.

In his online blog, Barwise notes that a sample of 30 ordinary UK citizens were assembled back in January to debate the pros and cons of the national DNA database.

'This has been a highly charged subject for years, not least due to the progressive extension of the scope of the database, culminating in recent proposals to include young children who might offend in the future - or indeed everyone in the country,' he said, adding that the issue arouses strong emotions.

The proposed telecommunications database, however, he adds, would disclose your circle of business and social contacts, as well as your Web browsing habits.

This would, says Barwise, reveal vast amounts of information about your lifestyle.

Small wonder then, that Barwise says that, against this backdrop, concerns about a DNA database start to pale into insignificance...
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