Italian officials prepare the law for a DNA database
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Italy is preparing its DNA database law, claiming that it needs harmonization with the other European states situation, but forgetting about the privacy concerns. According to col. Luciano Garofano from RIS (Reparti Investigazioni Scientifiche), it is not very long until the law allowing archiving DNA data will be in place.
In Garofano's opinion, Italy is actually one of the last to have a legislation in the domain and the problem is that although Italy has signed the Prüm treaty to exchange data, it has no data to exchange.
The colonel believes that Italy needs this database that would be efficient in identifying criminals as well as innocent people. Experts however fear that there is a risk of theft of genetic data that could be used abusively as well as of the possibility of relying too much on this database ignoring checks of various typologies and sources.
Garofano believes advantage should be taken of the new technologies and data privacy issues should not stand in the way of security. He thinks privacy should not be a justification not to draft a law that would be for the security of the Italian citizens.
A draft law has already been made by the National Committee for Biosecurity, Biotechnology and Life Science (Comitato Nazionale per la Biosicurezza, le Biotecnologie e le Scienze della Vita), a draft that stipulates the gathering of data from those that have infringed the law and might face more than 3 years of imprisonment as well of those that are imprisoned.
"A law is absolutely necessary but it must be evaluated with extreme caution. It is a good think that the gathered data is based on alphanumerical sequence and not on biological samples" said Francesco Pizzetti, the president Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali). He also expressed the hope that the authority's experience would be taken into consideration and that the Parliament would listen to the opinions of the Authority.
Italy - ready for the Big Genetic Database (only in Italian, 29.06.2007)