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: Software Development

About

Adrian Bridgwater a freelance journalist specialising in cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects of software engineering and project management. Adrian is a regular blogger with ZDNet.co.uk covering the application development landscape and the movers, shakers and start-ups that make the indust... Full Bio

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