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If you are arrested in the UK on suspicion that you may have committed a crime but are later proven innocent, your DNA profile will still remain within government databases, according to a new report in The Daily Telegraph. After previously promising that it would destroy all DNA profiles of innocent civilians, except when charges involve violence or sex crimes, the UK government has now decided that it will keep such profiles after all, but do so "anonymously."
DNA profiles are encrypted numeric sequences that identify individuals within a database system. Law enforcement agencies use DNA profiles to easily identify individuals for the purpose of parental testing or criminal investigation. But UK officials want to retain all DNA profiles of individuals that are taken into custody, regardless of whether or not they actually committed a crime.
The government's excuse for breaching its promise in the matter is that retained profiles will supposedly be categorized anonymously. However, the UK's Home Office minister James Brokenshire openly admitted that it is possible to identify the profiles through simple laboratory analysis, which many civil liberties groups say is absolutely unacceptable.