Your fingerprint is derived from your DNA

Uindependent L.andeszentrum for D.privacy Schleswig-Holstein

DNA samples contain sensitive information. These are forgery-proof, personal identifiers that cannot be stripped off. Humans unintentionally leave them behind as hair, dandruff, saliva. The genetic study of this material and the attribution of results is becoming easier and cheaper. If there is only enough reference data available, identifications are child's play. The Federal Constitutional Court hasPersonal identificationDeclared unconstitutional because they can be used to create complete personality profiles. For this reason, for example, the genetic recording of the entire male population would not be acceptable - also because it would result in enormous retention on suspicion. Persons who have not yet appeared under criminal law could thus be drawn into massively incriminating criminal investigations without there being any reason for this. If tissue is found and assigned at the crime scene, the suspect must first prove his innocence. The presumption of innocence would be turned upside down.

The pure trace allocation by so-called genetic fingerprint is only the first biotechnological beginning of trace analysis. Even the non-coding parts of the DNA can be used to create morePersonal characteristicsderive such as gender, ethnicity, certain predispositions to illness. The analysis of the coding gene parts really gets to the point. Today the hair color and the skin color can possibly already be deduced; precise probability statements are possible with regard to medical characteristics. Forensic doctors dream of the genetic description of the perpetrator. The derivation of psychological dispositions, such as sexual abnormality, aggressiveness or kleptomania, is even more delicate. In the Netherlands, genetic analyzes of the content are already permitted for law enforcement purposes.

What initially fascinates turns out to be a nightmare: As carriers of genetic traits, humans are no longer treated as freely decisive and culpable. He would forpure objectcriminological desire. Criminology that treats people only as a bearer of characteristics would not be compatible with our basic law's concept of man.

That is why the Federal Constitutional Court has used DNA analysis in criminal proceedingsclear boundariesput: Forensic usefulness is not sufficient as a justification; Interventions in personal rights must be proportionate. This highly invasive method is not permitted for minor cases.

DNA samples may only be included in a file if a prognosis suggests that the perpetrator will continue to commit serious criminal offenses in the future and the DNA storage can be suitable for clearing up these offenses. The Bavarian Minister of the Interior is twice wrong when he thinks that he can and is allowed to get hold of "shoplifters, shell players and alleged heating readers" with the genetic fingerprint. Theforecastmay only meet a judge, not a criminal prosecutor. The practice of obtaining DNA samples from prisoners and the mentally ill with consent is also absurd. These involuntary consents are of no legal value. Filling up the DNA database at the Federal Criminal Police Office in this way shows cynicism: the prisoner who is not free should give the prognosis himself that he will commit criminal offenses again in the future.

Can be similarly cynical"voluntary"Mass Screeningsbe: Prisoners give their consent for the hope of detention. In the event of refusal, those recorded by mass genetic tests are threatened with compulsory judicial testing as a suspect. The fact that in one case the Federal Constitutional Court has approved such a mass test for 500 not-yet-suspects cannot and must not be a license to consider this to be permissible for 15,000 or more unsuspects. Again, the presumption of innocence is turned into the opposite.

DNA tests are not suitable to eradicate crime, even if spectacular successes can be achieved with them. However, DNA analysis is probably suitable for thatAccused rights in criminal proceedingsto exterminate: the right not to incriminate oneself, the presumption of innocence, the right to informational self-determination, the right of personality - ultimately human dignity. This price would be too high to justify the unconditional fight against biotechnological crime. What would be gained would not be more security, but rather insecurity, lack of freedom and external control of the people.