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DNA testing site not aware of UK law

Australian company DNA Solutions responds to accusations
Written by Wendy McAuliffe, Contributor

DNA Solutions responded to accusations Friday that the UK launch of its DNAnow.com Web site may infringe the Human Rights Act Friday.

According to legal experts, the Australia-based company offering DNA paternity tests online from small hair samples, is in danger of violating the UK's Human Rights Act and Data Protection Act.

Wendy Barley, UK consumer services representative for DNAnow.com admitted that she was not aware of the legal guidelines surrounding consent to paternity testing within Britain. "We're not trying to circumvent human rights -- every time someone comes out with a new service there will always be legal issues that must be addressed," she argued. "If someone wants to challenge us in court they have every right to do so."

The company is confident that its decision to conduct DNA testing on hair rather than blood samples means there is no need for legal services. "Because we are not carrying out a medical procedure, we don't see the necessity in involving the law -- we are only providing an informative service to people who want to find out the truth," Barley insisted.

The service -- which hit the UK Tuesday -- defended its code of practice by arguing that "we're not doing anything that anyone else isn't doing". Barley did however admit that their service relies on the honesty of customers to send valid hair samples, owing to the absence of any security check to ensure that the person requesting the test is who they say they are.

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