Genetic samples are some of the most sensitive forms of personal data. DNA profiles hold the key to a person’s identity and as such must be protected with the utmost care.

DNA profiling can be useful in criminal investigations, and for medical purposes like paternity testing, but increasingly governments are seeking the ability to search vast databases of DNA profiles in the hope of solving future crimes. In addition to the DNA of convicted criminals, police forces are also demanding access to the genetic profiles of innocent people who were once wrongfully arrested, or those who have donated DNA on an (ostensibly) anonymised basis for health research.