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Genetics: Databases

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which private firms have successfully applied to use the national DNA database to help them develop computer programmes. (233401)

LGC and Cellmark have successfully applied for use of information from the national DNA database (NDNAD), to develop computer software to enhance use of the NDNAD and thus allow more suspects to be identified. Requests for the release of information must be approved by the NDNAD Strategy Board. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 lays down that DNA samples and the profiles derived from them can only be used for the purposes of prevention and detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, the conduct of a prosecution or, since April 2005, for the purposes of identifying a deceased person. In accordance with this, no information has been supplied to private firms to assist with the development of software for any other purpose. The information supplied from the NDNAD was anonymised, that is, no details that would enable individuals to be identified were supplied to the private companies.