UK Liberty

Concern about future use of private information is legitimate

Posted in database state, law and order by ukliberty on December 9, 2008

The court in S & Marper v UK said,

70. In Van der Velden, the Court considered that, given the use to which cellular material in particular could conceivably be put in the future, the systematic retention of that material was sufficiently intrusive to disclose interference with the right to respect for private life (see Van der Velden cited above). The Government criticised that conclusion on the ground that it speculated on the theoretical future use of samples and that there was no such interference at present. 

71.The Court maintains its view that an individual’s concern about the possible future use of private information retained by the authorities is legitimate and relevant to a determination of the issue of whether there has been an interference. Indeed, bearing in mind the rapid pace of developments in the field of genetics and information technology, the Court cannot discount the possibility that in the future the private-life interests bound up with genetic information may be adversely affected in novel ways or in a manner which cannot be anticipated with precision today. Accordingly, the Court does not find any sufficient reason to depart from its finding in the Van der Velden case.

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