December 10, 2023

Russian politicians propose universal DNA profiling

Politicians from a minor nationalist party want the government to file fingerprints and DNA profiles of every Russian citizen.

Politicians from a minor nationalist party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, want the government to file fingerprints and DNA profiles of every Russian citizen. While the proposal appears to have little chance of success, it does suggest that some law-makers lack sensitivity about issues of genetic privacy.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Roman Khudyakov, the information would be stored safely in a special agency of the Interior Minister or the FSB (the successor to the KGB). He told the popular daily Izvestia that the information could be stored on citizens’ ID cards. He dismissed concerns about the safety of their personal data.

“All information will be protected. It is like a bank card. We will also toughen the criminal responsibility for officials who have access to the data. When people face three years in prison for leaking the data no one would be tempted to do this.”

The data would be stored for 150 years after the date of collection, and then destroyed.

Under Mr Khudyakov’s proposal, registration would be voluntary for ordinary citizens, who would have to pay a fee for the privilege of allowing the state to know everything about their genetic information. But it would be both free and compulsory for all civil servants, law enforcers, military and security personnel, convicts, firemen, rescuers and applicants for a driving license or gun permit. Which, of course, captures just about everyone.

Mr Khudyakov has also proposed universal fingerprinting of all travellers, both foreign and Russian, and all people with dangerous diseases, especially AIDS
Creative commons
DNA data base
genetic privacy