by Ivan C
The Combined DNA Index System, also known as CODIS, is the first national DNA database started by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The initial project was started in 1990 to hold the DNA of sex offenders by gathering data from local, state and federal databases. It took eight years for the database to be launched as a national database. Over time CODIS grew to hold more than just sex offenders. It started holding DNA samples of, depending on the state, convicted offenders, arrested offenders, and missing or unidentified persons to hold a total of more than four million people (Vercillo). There are many benefits that CODIS offers but many people believe it has changed too much from the original plan. Now that CODIS holds samples from more than just sex offenders’ people believe it is a violation of privacy. Also database security becomes an issue but that is a different topic. As far as CODIS has evolved the United States was not the first country to develop a national DNA database. U.K. introduced the first database in 1995 followed by New Zealand and France. Interestingly other countries, such as Portugal, have plans to introduce a DNA database of its whole population (Vercillo). Compared to the U.S. other countries have lower crimes rates and population size therefore allowing for a smaller database.
It is interesting to know how the government is taking advantage of database technology. I enjoyed reading this article because it gave me an insight and history of DNA databases. I was surprised how some countries have very strict rules on who has to provide DNA samples. I am sure if the U.S. goes too far there will be a revolution. In my opinion using a database to catch criminals seems logical but that is only concluded with what we know about how the government is actually using databases.
Vercillo, K. (n.d.). History and Purpose of the United States National DNA Database. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Hub Pages: http://kathrynvercillo.hubpages.com/hub/History-and-Purpose-of-the-National-DNA-Database