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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


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One other issue that nobody seems to have mentioned so far: There is no limitation (either through policy or technology) on what may be done with your DNA, once it has been taken from you. You could be cloned, without your knowledge or consent. They've done it with sheep and human stem cells. It's not within the realm of science fiction to say that within a few decades (or even a few short years) they'll be able to do it with humans. Yes, it's illegal ... but if it's done in secret, who's going to know?

Previously, you were only really at risk of having your DNA taken if you committed a crime. Maybe the powers that be have decided that they want a DNA database made up from people other than hardcore criminals. For what purpose? Who can say. I think it is highly suspect that we're to be given no choice in the matter, though - effectively, we're all to be criminalised for the sake of having our DNA taken because the Secretary of State wants it for purposes he won't say. Yet, you're expected to justify yourself at every turn. Doesn't anyone else find that idea a little unsettling?

Your DNA could also be sold to insurance companies, to help cover the astronomical costs associated with the ID card scheme. Suddenly, you find your life insurance premiums rocket by 3000% - because your insurance company didn't like what they found in your DNA. You'll be pigeon-holed, categorised and filed according to your DNA strain - simply for the purpose of reducing risk to the insurance companies. You can bet they'll all be in favour of an ID card scheme for this very reason. Money talks.

Some firm might like your DNA and decide to patent it - which would put you in a very interesting (and possibly illegal) position. To me, it doesn't sound all that outlandish - after all, they already do the same with GM crops. What's to stop this from happening? If you can patent a peanut butter sandwich (or a piece of software, or a GM crop), what's to stop you from patenting a human? Furthermore, what rights does a human being have in a patented body? When do we stop becoming people and start becoming product?

How do you prevent these sorts of things happening, unless you keep your own DNA private? There's more at stake than you realise...
Nobody in particular, 12 years ago.

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