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DNA Testing – Your Rights

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DNA testing, your DNA profile and your records must now be held in accordance with law to protect your rights. Just like any of your personal details, you will want to ensure that any data or samples you submit for the purposes of DNA testing will remain private and won’t fall into the wrong hands or be used against you at a later date. Using a private clinic means that your rights will fall under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the clinic will also observe standard procedures when dealing with your personal information – if you have any queries you should ask the clinic before you book your test.

DNA Testing - Personal Information

Like all other organisations in the UK private clinics are prevented from using your personal information without your prior consent. For this reason it’s important to thoroughly read all information on any consent form you sign so as not to inadvertently give permission for anyone to use the information you provide. There may be “tick boxes” and you should read the information by these, so that you are clear whether you tick them or not, in order to get the result you’re looking for.

The organisation is required to hold your personal details securely, and make sure that no one outside the organisation has access to them. You should only be asked for information relevant to the DNA testing being undertaken. Should you have any questions or concerns about the information you’re asked for check it out with the clinic.

DNA Testing - Your Sample

Many clinics will destroy your sample once it has been tested, unless you specifically request that it is stored. Once the results are received the clinic will send a copy to you and keep a copy on file. This should be sufficient for any future reference and the clinic may also have a policy on how long it retains this information, which you should be aware of.

If you are arrested, the Police have the right to take a DNA sample from you, and your details and the results of your DNA test will then be held in a national database. If you are convicted of a crime, your entry will remain in the database. If you are acquitted or the case against you is dropped, your results will be deleted, although in certain circumstances the Police may apply for the details to be held for longer.


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