Profiling every citizen’s DNA

Just before the monsoon session of the Lok Sabha ended, the Centre introduced the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018. The NDA Government is likely to push through this Bill in the winter session of Parliament, so that by the time elections are held, it will become a law in the statute book. The Opposition has very rightly opposed this Bill. The DNA is the main constituent of chromosomes. Through it the genetic information of the parents is transmitted to the offspring. The DNA contains all the fundamental and distinctive characteristics and qualities of an individual which are as unchangeable as one’s fingerprints. Anyone’s DNA will reveal his temperament, tendencies, tastes and other traits like criminality and propensity for certain genetically transmitted diseases like diabetes, gout, asthma and aplastic anaemia.  DNA data will make the individual concerned stand virtually naked before those who have his DNA profile.
This is an invasion of privacy, pure and simple. Profiling an individual’s DNA at a time when experiments are going on for changing an individual’s innate personality will ultimately enable the State, that is, those who control the State, to exercise enormous control over the entire citizenry. The Aadhar card was the first step in the State’s attempt to invade the privacy of a citizen. DNA profiling will be the final and ultimate step. Despite all the tall claims by the authorities that information (including biometric information) contained in the Aadhar card is confidential and cannot be compromised, the fact is that Aadhar data can be and are being regularly hacked by criminals and others having commercial and other interests.
In the present age, when technology is advancing by leaps and bounds (like fraudsters inventing ‘scheming’ machines for cloning bank debit and credit cards) there is not an iota of doubt that techniques will be perfected to hack one’s DNA profile also which, the Government will claim with a straight face, are secure and cannot be stolen. In George Orwell’s nightmarish novel Nineteen Eighty-four there is a telescreen in every household for watching every movement of every member of the family round the clock. And there is the ubiquitous warning: “The Big Brother is Watching You.” Advance of Science and Technology is fast turning the world into a vast prison house in which a select and fortunate few exercise complete dominance over the people. And most of us are even unaware of the nature of the world we are being driven into.

Monday, 27 August, 2018