Germany's DNA database

Published: Wednesday 15 July 1998

The federal crime office of Germany is going to introduce a central DNA database for sex offenders, convicted murderers and others who commit serious offences. A plan to this effect was approved by Manfred Kanther, minister of interior. DNA databases have become invaluable to forensic scientists following advances in DNAanalysis. The US, UK, the Netherlands and Austria already have such databases. Pressure is growing in France to follow suit. Germany had been hesitating about this as privacy and data protection issues were involved. It is still unclear whether the operation of the database will need to be backed by new legislation, if its data are to be used as legal evidence in trial ( Nature , Vol 392, No 6678).

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