In 2007 the House of Lords called evidence, as part of their privacy investigations, entitled “The Impact of Surveillance and Data Collection upon the Privacy of Citizens and their Relationship with the State”. One of those who gave evidence Action on Rights for Children – ARCh
In ARCh’s report, the conclusions were very similar others who submitted reports, including the Royal Academy of Engineering, and GeneWatch,; all of whom clearly stated that the balance of privacy of the individual versus surveillance by state, had moved in the direction of the state.
Some of the highlights of the report are:
The position of the private individual who is not interfered with by the State unless he transgresses (or, in the case of children, is at risk of significant harm) is being turned on its head by data collection and surveillance.
It has been estimated [in 2007] that, at a minimum, the DNA profiles of 100,000 children who have not committed any offence are held on NDNAD. This potentially places these children under suspicion whenever a positive DNA match is made at a crime scene.
As police are likely [to access a variety of the recently created databases about children – possibly including ContactPoint and Common Assessment Framework. This site has found confirmed that the police have used the databases, designed to protect children and assist them in times of difficulties, arrest them when they (the children) are attend counseling sessions and the like.
As the police will often recover DNA from a crime scene (that may not be that of an offender, but of a witness or passer by), they will be able to compare that DNA they have recovered with their own profile. If that DNA profile matches, they will be able to look at the details of the suspect and compare that with the other database records they have, as mentioned above. They can then draw a rather negative image of a child, even though this individual may never have been arrested or convicted of a crime. The DNA “evidence” combined with the information on the databases (which is input derived mainly from untrained individuals opinions of the children), are likely to set in place assumptions that will effect the polices attitude, which will in-turn effect the investigation and the treatment of an individual.