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Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens

Kuwait has announced mandatory DNA testing for all citizens and foreign residents. Refuse, and you get a year in jail.

It will also come with a fine of $33,000 or 29, 700 euros. If a citizen is proven guilty of faking their sample, they are entitled to be imprisoned for seven years. According to reports, the Kuwait Parliament has provided a $400 million as emergency fund for the said law. Independent MP Jamal al-Omar stated that they gave the go signal for the DNA testing law along with the additional funding. They are also required to approve anything that is needed in order to improve the country’s security measures.

This new Kuwait law has already sparked a lot of criticism from human rights advocates. Such database is considered illegal in the European Union as the Strasbourg court of human rights finally ruled in 2008 that DNA sample collecting when it comes to non-criminals is a clear violation of their privacy right. The said ruling has forced the United Kingdom to revise its biometric retention guidelines, which formerly permitted the collection of DNA samples along with the fingerprints taken during their respective arrests even when they were not later accused of any crime and or if they are proven innocent.

Movie-going science fiction fans have wrestled with this ethical dilemma over their popcorn before. In the 1997 sf film Gattaca, compulsory participation in a DNA database enforces strict genetic standards. The film was directed and written by Andrew Niccol, and starred Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law.


(Employees provide a DNA sample upon entry)

In the film, the contents of this database determine who is allowed to fully participate in society. People who are brought into the world without genetic engineering form an underclass, whose very DNA denies them access.

Via DNA Force.

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Index of related articles:

Biometric security overview
Biometrics Glossary
Characteristics of successful biometric identification methods
Biometric identification systems
Biometric technology on the leading edge
Biometric identification - advantages
Biometric security and business ethics
Biometric authentication: what method works best?
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