DNA Fingerprint Database For Workers Gattaca-Style Proposed
Do we need a national DNA or fingerprint database for all American workers to address the immigration problem? New York's Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg has gone on record advocating such a plan - a biometric identification system that would be compulsory for all workers.
Bloomberg ran a company for twenty years before becoming mayor; NYC has an estimated half-million illegal immigrants. He does not believe that such a system would not violate the privacy of citizens and is not a civil liberties issue.
Critics point out that such a database would quickly come to be used by all sectors of the government, as well as private industry. A number of rights guaranteed to us by the US Constitution would be violated by use of such a database, including the right to privacy and the presumption of innocence under the law. Also, I haven't heard anything about forcing wealthy investors or business owners to participate.
European countries contemplating such measures refer to a "principle of proportionality" - the idea that creating a national DNA database would be disproportionate to the ends pursued. The indiscriminate gathering of personal information on a national scale would not be proportional to the benefit.
(Gattaca: Employees pass compulsory DNA testing stations)
As far as science fiction, the literature of imagination, is concerned, compulsory national DNA or fingerprint databases are not exactly synonymous with free societies. To take just one recent example, 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)
Ultimately, 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. Robert Heinlein, writing on this subject in 1942 in his novel Beyond this Horizon, called the unfortunate "normal" people control naturals.
(A droplet of blood from each employee is analyzed)
Read more at NYC mayor advocates U.S. worker database
. Thanks to Vik of New Zealand for pointing out the sf connections of this USA story for us!
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )
of related articles:
Biometric security overview
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?
Related News Stories -
UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.
Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.
China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.' - Jack Vance, 1976.
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.' - Cory Doctorow, 2008.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.
Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.
DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'
I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'
Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'
Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'
Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'
Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!
TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.
Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'
Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'
Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.
Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories