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The introduction of DNA technology in crime scene analysis has provided a valuable tool for detectives who might otherwise be struggling for clues in their race to track perpetrators and prevent further felonies. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/19/art.dnacomputer.jpg
caption="DNA tests can drastically speed up police work."]
But, while it professes to drastically reduce error in securing convictions, its advent is not without controversy –particularly over the setting up of DNA databases.
Several law enforcement bodies, primarily in Britain, Australia and the U.S. state of California, are currently using DNA databases to hold data that could be used to identify criminals at a later date, but debate rages over how far they should go.
Some proposals for databases envisage collecting and retaining data from citizens linked to crime, even if they are proved innocent. Others are more extensive, seeking data from all citizens, whether linked to a crime or not.
Those in favor of databases say they would speed up police work and help tackle terrorists using false identities. People who have not done anything wrong, they say, have nothing to fear.
Those against databases warn of "Big Brother" regimes that would turn their country's citizens into "a nation of suspects," using costly layers of bureaucracy that could be exploited by corrupt police and others illegally trading in personal data.
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