While the Daily News of Jacksonville NC touts this as a good idea it is a horrific notion. The emotional argument employed is that families with missing loved ones may want to determine if a missing family member is deceased. The proposal offered is to have the Greensboro PD conduct mass DNA screenings of such families and then to send this highly sensitive personal information to a federal agency, the Dept. of Justice (DOJ). The author of the article did not mention that the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs is part of the DOJ. Although this program is now voluntary it may set the precedent to make mass DNA screenings mandatory. Voluntary submission of your DNA to any federal agency should never be endorsed, e.g., once the DOJ has an individual’s DNA would there be any limits to how this information is used? Would the DOJ refuse to share this information with any other federal, state or local agency beyond the parameters of NamUs? Once other agencies cooperating with NamUS have your DNA would there be any controls or limits on how this information would be used? Here’s hoping no NC law enforcement agencies follow the lead of the Greensboro PD.
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