PL&B International E-news, Issue 75

08/12/2008
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  1. European Court of Human Rights rules that the United Kingdom’s DNA storage violates privacy right

1. European Court of Human Rights rules that the United Kingdom’s DNA storage violates privacy right

A Grand Chamber of 17 judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on 5 December ruled unanimously that the United Kingdom violated the right to privacy by taking and storing indefinitely the DNA and fingerprints of people who had not been convicted of any offence.

In the two cases of S. and Marper v. the United Kingdom, one had been arrested when he was eleven and charged with attempted robbery. His fingerprints and DNA samples were taken and stored, although he was acquitted. The other was arrested and charged with harassment of his partner. His fingerprints and DNA samples were taken and stored, although the case was formally discontinued.

Both unsuccessfully requested that their fingerprints, DNA samples and profiles be destroyed. The UK law authorised the retention of the data for an unlimited time. Because the judgment was made by the Grand Chamber, there can be no further appeal.

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Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2008 

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