If you’re like me, you’ve been fingerprinted when entering or leaving the United States as a foreigner. Then you knew that the US government had you identified by everything you ever touched in the US. Whether it be a snack bar in a supermarket or your touching your date’s face before he/she was found murdered.
Now, the anti-criminalization policies have gone one step further. Forget foreigners. If you are a suspect in a crime and are arrested, the US government has the cheek to swab your inside cheek to take a sample of your DNA to add to their database. Forget if you’re guilty or not. That is apparently immaterial.
I’m surprised that all the privacy groups who worry about Internet data gathering, browser cookies, browsing history, online search history records, etc. by Google and other software companies are keeping mum about this issue. This is your DNA we’re talking about – nothing can be more personal than that. And to let the government collect and store your DNA even if you’re innocent – what more intrusion of privacy can there be? Is that how socio-cultural issues work – the Internet makes news, conventional stuff doesn’t?
In other news, you can now (apparently) check if you suffer from bipolar disorder by ordering a test “spit kit” from Psynomics. They will test your DNA and will mail you the test results. We already have pregnancy tests for women, sugar-level tests for diabetics, and blood pressure checkers readily available even in third-world countries like India. Is technology moving diagnosis more and more from physicians to consumers? Will consumers be able to assess if they need a cardiac bypass surgery or an appendectomy by themselves? Will physician’s diagnoses become obsolete some day in the future? Something to ponder about.