DNA database difficulties

Summary:This morning the BBC is reporting on the issue of building a nationwide database to store double-helix data on all of us.Those ministers against the proposal seem to be keen to sit on the ethical issue more heavily than the technical issue don't you think?

This morning the BBC is reporting on the issue of building a nationwide database to store double-helix data on all of us.

Those ministers against the proposal seem to be keen to sit on the ethical issue more heavily than the technical issue don't you think? I'm quite happy to have my DNA stored (apart from the fact that I don't like needles too much) if it helps us track criminals.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty says that building a national database would raise practical and technical issues. "How to maintain the security of a database with 4.5m people on it is one thing. Doing that for 60m people is another."

Well, the government hardly has a great record of being able to look after our data I suppose. Let's assume that they won't copy it all on to a laptop and leave it in the loos at the closest McDonald's to Whitehall.

But practical and technical issues - really? I know people who build databases for a living and they always tell their clients that anything is possible given the time and the money. So is it effort and expenditure that's really holding the government back? Or do they really find big databases that frightening?

Topics: Developer

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Adrian Bridgwater is a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily working as a news analysis writer, he is also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. His expertise extends across a wider transept of the enterprise IT landscape, including open source, data analytics and intelligence, clou... Full Bio

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