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A DNA Database For All U.S. Workers?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the he-has-the-best-ideas dept.

625

fragmer writes "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested a plan on Wednesday that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers. The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will 'uniquely identify the person' applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged. Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue."

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Oh Orwell (5, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416373)

The power lies with the proles.

but it IS an issue. (4, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416374)

"Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue."

Just by saying that, he's acknowledging that its a civil liberties issue.

Re:but it IS an issue. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416429)

No its not. You don't know the history of civil liberties. I do.
Quit being so glib.

If people think it is a civil liberties issue ... (2, Insightful)

Potor (658520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416432)

it is a civil liberties issue.

When will gov't realise this?

Re:If people think it is a civil liberties issue . (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416499)

Realize it?

It's not as if they don't understand that it's a gross violation of our rights. Their concern is how to get us to swallow it, not whether it's right or wrong.

Any New Yorkers reading this, if you happen to encounter Mayor Bloomberg at a restaurant or a party or something, throw your food at him, or just slap him across the chops and call him a fascist asshole. Once this has happened to him fifty or sixty times, he may get the hint.

-jcr

Re:If people think it is a civil liberties issue . (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416552)

... throw your food at him, or just slap him across the chops and call him a fascist asshole.

After my last visit to NYC, I would say this is SOP.

Re:If people think it is a civil liberties issue . (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416526)

"If people think it is a civil liberties issue, it is a civil liberties issue."

I'm sorry, I think you need to submit for re-education. The government has said it's not a civil liberties issue; what more proof do you need?

Beyond the Civil Liberties issues ... (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416443)

Does this moron know how much it would COST to do that? We're talking a DNA sample from every working age adult (15 to ...?).

Just WHAT is this supposed to give us? Are employers who currently hire illegal aliens suddenly going to pay for DNA/fingerprinting of their employees to find out if they're legal?

Or is this another expense for the immigration department / police departments? Will they have to check the DNA of everyone they arrest on immigration issues?

That guy is an idiot.

Even without the Civil Liberty issues, this idea would be too expensive to implement and yield NOTHING.

It looks like "immigration" is this year's "child porn". All you politicians need to get on "immigration" today!

Re:Beyond the Civil Liberties issues ... (5, Insightful)

David Gould (4938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416517)


Perhaps a better solution would be to simply tattoo a serial number on everybody's arm -- it'd be functionally equivalent, but much cheaper to implement.

Is anyone else getting sick of this pattern? (4, Interesting)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416448)

1. Government notices problem.
2. Media takes problem, makes it a big news story.
3. Government takes problem and introduces legislation that does more to restrict ordinary law-abiding citizens.
4. Profit (More Power)

How many years was illegal immigration going on and companies using them (persumably this DNA database will be designed to curtail that)? And when exactly did the government/news decide to make it a central issue? The governemnt must have seen what a great tool fear, distrust, and anger were to gain power for themselves.

Re:If anything... (5, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416528)


If anything, we should have learned from the disaster that the use of our social security number has become. It started out with a use that was extremely limited in scope, and has since become a nearly universal identifier for all kinds of information about us- all without our permission, and in many cases, our knowledge. The proliferation of its abuse is now why we're faced with issues like identity theft.

This point cannot be emphasized enough: once something like this becomes a problem, it's too late. Have you seen any "solution" to identity theft? Didn't think so. The only effective response is to slam the door closed on these kinds of ideas, and weld it shut.

Re:but it IS an issue. (3, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416548)

Frankly, I'm slightly more comfortable with some illegal immigrant using my SSN and personal information to get a job or even a criminal using my information to milk my bank accounts than I am with the government building a fingerprint and DNA database "to track workers".

Re:but it IS an issue. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416554)

Approximately 80% of the population believes the Bible contains or is the word of god simply because the Bible says so. Why is it so unbelievable that approximately 80% of the population will believe the government can be trusted simply because the government says so?

1984? You ain't seen nothing yet. That was a dance in the park compared to where we are headed.

Just remember "Its for the children."

That frog is damn near cooked.

Sounds Familiar (3, Interesting)

Fullaxx (657461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416375)

Gattaca anyone?

Re:Sounds Familiar (1)

l5rfanboy (977086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416389)

Thank you. I can't believe a politician would publicly support such an obviously controversial proposal, let alone promote it as being a grand thing that will help the american workforce.

Re:Sounds Familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416407)

All your genes are belonging to us.

Re:Sounds Familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416493)

That was my first thought.

Re:Sounds Familiar (1)

Alfred, Lord Tennyso (975342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416515)

Well, that's a little much. Gattaca was about detailed gene analysis, to remove "defectives" from society. This is a much nearer-term civil liberties issue about anonymity and privacy.

There is a new disease in U.S. that only affects (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416384)

politicians it seems ; Big Brother Syndrome

A day does not pass without some u.s. politician or lawmaker coming up with an idea that would be a step on the road that will turn u.s. people into slave labor.

Re:There is a new disease in U.S. that only affect (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416465)

But it will stop all terrorists, sexual predators, sexual terroristic predators and sexual predatory terrorists! Surly you don't want our children to all into their hands, which is what you do if you oppose our plan.

P.S.: God bless America!

Argh! (1)

xpurple (1227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416385)

We should not stand for this! We will not stand for it. Stand up America!

Re:Argh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416516)

Uh, we support the basic idea. How is DNA different than a finger print or photo?

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/stengel/article /0,9565,180144,00.html [time.com]

And, by the way, Americans support the idea of a national ID card. A Pew poll from September shows that 70% of Americans like the idea

Re:Argh! (1)

xpurple (1227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416569)

I do not support the National ID card and I will never carry one.

I'll Feel MUCH Better... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416386)

If they do this to all the suits first and give us techs access to the system. ;P

Too much TV. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416391)

Bloomberg is a dumbass who watches too much TV. DNA comparisons take weeks to perform, not 5 minutes like on television procedural police dramas. Can you imagine having to wait 4 to 6 weeks every time you cross a border, fly on an airplane, perform a transaction at the DMV, etc. while someone checks out your DNA to verify your identity?

Re:Too much TV. (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416542)

Oh don't worry, I'm sure as soon as this doesn't pan out, they'll issue an RFID tag implanted in your skin to 'hold your DNA information' in a more readily accessible format.

And when that gets hacked, they'll...

Social Security? (3, Interesting)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416392)

Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue.
Yes, I'm sure. Just like when social security was first introduced, we were assured that it wouldn't be abused and used for identification at all -- only social security. That has certainly held over time.

Re:Social Security? (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416509)

Not only that, the census bureau routinely promises that census data will not be used for any illegal purpose, and they even lie about the fact that it was used in the 1940s to round up american citizens of Japanese ancestry to ship them to concentration camps.

-jcr

And the Star of David... (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416393)

Requiring all Jewish residents to register as such and wear a Star of David on their shirts is also just a purely administrative aid, to stop people cheating the system and could never be used as a real civil liberties issue either.

I wish people would learn that we can trust the government simply because they tell us we can.

Re:And the Star of David... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416416)

I wish people would learn that we can trust the government simply because they tell us we can.

And I wish that people would remember that Government works for us and we give them their power. Too many folks act like they're subjects of the Government.

Re:And the Star of David... (1)

burdicda (145830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416555)

So how come we can't get term limits....??

Who's driving the bus ??

Re:And the Star of David... (5, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416568)

And I wish that people would remember that Government works for us and we give them their power.

No. The monopoly on violence the government holds gives it power. Specifically, the backing of armed forces - US Army - is what gives the US Government its power. You have power over it only when you have a real chance of overthrowing it; at that point the government might listen out of self-preservation. Democracy was supposed to ensure that the public always has this power, and can use it in a bloodless manner, but it's working less and less well.

I don't know if there's a solution. As soon as humans band together into large enough groups you need government to keep them from killing each other; but since that government needs to hold near-total monopoly on violence to accomplish this and is made from human beings it will inevitably end up abusing its power. Any attempt to stop this process only slows it down; and even if you stop the actual government from growing out of control, it simply provides a power vacuum for aristocracy or corporations / robber parons to do it instead.

Maybe it's the nature of human race that we must have revolutions every few generations to keep things working.

Too many folks act like they're subjects of the Government.

The correct term, I believe, is consumer.

Godwin would be proud of you, son. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416435)

Congratulations! You win!

The database *wouldn't* be a civil liberties issue (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416395)

However, the first time they use it to identify a criminal, thus making every person in the database a potential suspect, it becomes a civil liberties issue.

I'm for it. (-1, Flamebait)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416398)

I'd really like to see a universal DNA database for all U.S. citizens, mainly for use in criminal investigation. No one has yet suggested to me a downside that compares with the upside. The scares over such a thing are way overblown.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416417)

It's not only the civil liberties problem - it's too damn expensive. I don't want my tax money going toward that, I'll take the .002% higher risk of getting robbed.

But it's also a liberty problem. When the government has the capability to turn into Big Brother, then as time goes on the probability approaches 1 that they will.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416450)

How expensive do you think it would really be? You'd have the expense of tissue storage, of initial sequencing, and of data storage. Of the three, the second is probably the most expensive, but automatic sequencing has gotten far cheaper in recent years.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416421)

You better be trolling.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416444)

I take some of your skin and hair from you while you sleep, go next door and murder your neighbour, leaving traces of your skin and hair everwhere and leave.

They find traces of your DNA and come round your house a arrest you.

I walk away scott free.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416482)

What stops that from happening now?—In fact, you can be pretty sure it is happening now.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416521)

The difference is now they DNA test suspects. In such a system we're all suspects. Er- you'd all be suspects. I plan on living as much of my life outside the USA as possible.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416543)

That doesn't hold water. It's easy to make someone a suspect now. Just make an anonymous phone call. "I saw so-and-so going into..."

Re:I'm for it. (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416457)

DNA evidence isn't practical in a lot of crimes. When's the last time the cops went swabbing for samples for when the local 7-11 had a shoplifter? The potential costs in terms of money and time would be better used to hire and train better quality law enforcement. Hell, put the money towards our national and state education programs to help make America's students more competitive and motivated coming out of high school. I think that'd do more for reducing crime rates than making CSI:America.

Cops don't even take finger prints. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416504)

Real world police work is NOT like the movies/TV. The GP needs to get a clue.

If your house is robbed, the cops don't even take finger prints. It's too much work/time. The payoff isn't there. They sure won't be scouring the house for DNA samples.

The only time they do go to all that work is for high profile murder cases.

So, this program would cost a LOT of money and be useless in 99.9% of crimes "investigated" by the cops.

In the remaining 0.1%, 70% of those would be useless because the cops already have a suspect (someone related to the victim, duh!) and can get the DNA/fingerprints when they need them.

Yeah, I think my taxes are too low right now. Let's increase the tax rate so the cops may be able to solve 1/3rd of .1% of the cases they get.

Re:Cops don't even take finger prints. (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416532)

Those rare cases where it would be useful are generally murders and rapes.

And before you start off on taxes, how much will this cost? Do you have a good estimate? This is a lot more doable now than it was a few years back due to automated DNA sequencing.

Re:I'm for it. (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416466)

The problem I've heard mentioned is that with any biological marker, as soon as someone figures out how to fake it you're screwed. You can't change your fingerprint, cornea, DNA, etc like you can an ID number. Not that they are likely to change someone's SSN even if it's known that an imposter is out there using it, but at least it's a possibility. Credit card numbers are certainly changed all the time for this reason.

I'm not saying I believe this argument automatically means it's a bad idea. It's just one argument I've heard tossed around that makes some level of sense. Though DNA is presumably currently hard enough to fake that it wouldn't be an issue. But I guess someone could potentially apply for a job with a hair they plucked of your coat on the bus or something?

Re:I'm for it. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416545)

The problem I've heard mentioned is that with any biological marker, as soon as someone figures out how to fake it you're screwed.

There's no need to fake the biometric data. Breaking into whatever machine hosts the database is quite sufficient.

If this system ever comes to pass, it would be a very appropriate countermeasure to make the DNA of every legislator who voted for it come up as a terrorist or sex offender.

-jcr

To keep the Goodwin tradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416470)

75% of the Germans who made a cross at the 'Jewish' religion tab
in the 1933 census where killed 12 years later.
Can you be sure that there will always be a democratically
elected government for the rest of your life?!

Re:I'm for it. (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416477)

The downside? It violates everything that we stand for, i.e. illegal search and seizure, and the fact that it reminds one too much of old East-German stasi methods.

Counting down the days... (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416399)

till we move to a country with a sense of freedom.

I Loves Me Them Republicans (2, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416401)

"You don't have to work - but if you want to work for a company you have to have a Social Security card," he said.

You see, to a Republican, working is purely optional.

Re:I Loves Me Them Republicans (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416523)

Nice try at pretending that only Republicans are at fault here. Don't fall for the shell game. Republicans and Democrats are just two wings of the ruling party.

-jcr

Re:I Loves Me Them Republicans (1)

Kaemaril (266849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416531)

"You don't have to work - but if you want to work for a company you have to have a Social Security card," he said.

You see, to a Republican, working is purely optional.

Well, he's absolutely right.

You don't HAVE to work, you could always sponge off the system instead. I'm sure the Republicans would have no problems if you were to do that ...

Oh, wait, nevermind, I think I'm seeing a problem here.

Oh, no, wait ... just had to get myself into the proper Republican mindset for the solution: become a wandering destitute homeless person. Or, even better, just DIE already. Yep, work completely optional, QED. ;)

Privacy Violation (4, Insightful)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416403)

Well I would certainly feel that my privacy was being violated. My DNA is private, thank you very much, and the state most certainly does not have a right to the details of it. It would be nice to think that this is the sort of suggestion that would lose a politician his job, but I have a bad feeling that some will find it rather popular.

Re:Privacy Violation (5, Interesting)

everett (154868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416454)

Simple solution, copyright your DNA sequence and then sue anyone that obtains it illegally for copyright infringement, since this is America you will win.

Re:Privacy Violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416456)

My DNA is private, thank you very much

I think this is a pretty absurd stance, actually. If you want to keep your DNA so private, stop shedding it on the bloody carpet!

The danger is not in your DNA being public. The danger is the DNA database being accessible only by a privileged elite. Asymmetric information availability is power. The database should be browseable by all for any purpose, or not exist. Otherwise, you've just massively increased police power, and they're already quite powerful enough.

Re:Privacy Violation (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416487)

Unfortunately, the right to privacy isn't actually in the constitution. We only have some bits of it now because the supreme court has, over the years, made decisions that are further and further from the actual text of the constitution that say that this right is implied there - which means that a new supreme court could come along at any time and overturn those decisions because the right to privacy is NOT, strictly speaking, actually mentioned. Period.

Which is why we need an amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy.

Amendment IX (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416559)

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Just because it is not specifically listed in the Constitution (or Bill of Rights) does not mean that it is not a Right.

The problem we're having right now is that our government is intent upon restricting Rights. This story is a great example of that kind of "logic".

Instead, we need to focus more on the Constitution and show that their power-grabs do NOT conform to the very blatantly stated restricted powers of government.

Rather than try to ammend the Constitution (or pass laws) to protect each Right of the People, we need to demand that the Government show a Constitutional basis for each of their laws.

And looking through the Constitution, I don't see anything supporting the Government's desire to collect information on citizens who are NOT accused of any crime.

Until they amend the Constitution to include that, then they are NOT allowed to do so.

Re:Privacy Violation (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416562)

Which is why we need an amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy.

The problem with that is defining what "privacy" really means without creating more harm than good from unintended consequences (see the Equal Rights Amendment). For example, a lot of people think "right to privacy" means "right to anonymity", which I definitely would NOT support (how do you collect taxes from people who have the right to be anonymous?)

Re:Privacy Violation (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416498)

It would be nice to think that this is the sort of suggestion that would lose a politician his job, but I have a bad feeling that some will find it rather popular.

Bloomberg's actually in his second term, which is his final term due to NYC mayoral term limits. Thus, job security is already out the window.

Re:Privacy Violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416533)

If your DNA is so "private," would you please stop leaving it all over the damn city? I used the office restroom after you yesterday and you left yet another nose hair in the bathroom sink. And let's not even get into those skin flakes you're constantly shedding...

DNA not a civil liberties issue??? (2, Insightful)

glyph42 (315631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416404)

Any database that allows people to determine the identities of all the people at any scene, whether it is a crime scene or otherwise, is a civil liberties issue. You were at WHAT social gathering? With WHOM? Now we're going to all have to start behaving like Ethan Hawke in GATTACA, scrubbing off all our dead skin cells before we go out.

whoops (1)

robinesque (977170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416406)

Let's hope nobody takes any work home with them and has it stolen from their unlocked car.

HELL NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416408)

HELL NO!

o_O (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416410)

Well talk about taking the big jump. I always got the impression that the US had far less of an ID culture then say mainland europe (for instance in holland you are legally required to ID yourselve at work every now and then and the state can check and fine you)

And then you drop a bombshell like this? Not just an ID but a complete DNA database?

Somebody needs to explain the concept of babysteps to this guy.

Re:o_O (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416490)

Yeah, the frog will certainly jump out of the pot if you put the heat on high. As someone corrupt enough to be the mayor of a large city, you'd think he would be smarter than that. Start with the felons and immigrants, move on to the state dependents (welfare recipients) and employees, then work your way up to everybody.

Re:o_O (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416495)

Do you think America is any less of an ID culture?

In most areas, your landlord is required to report who lives at his apartements to the township/county. If you want to work, you need a social security card and number. Bank account? Even if it's only a positive balance (where the bank gives you no credit) - fill out 15 forms please, and 3 forms of ID. Want to go to community college, same thing + certificate of residence. Oh, and to get a blockbuster card (at my local blockbuster) is probably harder to get than security clearance in some areas (at least back in the 90's, before I got Netflix).

What can you really do without ID? Drive around? Nope. Oh, yeah, walk to places (with our great public transport comparable to Europe) like a bar, where they check your ID in some places if you "look" under 30. *SNORT*

So, in the end, this is business as usual. What I do care about are stolen identities - because CC companies and the same don't check ID and anybody can take your mail, fill in information that may be correct or not, get your SS# (not so hard as it's ubiquitously used these days) and, without one face to face meeting with anybody verifying their ID before approval, ride your good credit rating down the drainpipe.

I wonder if Europe is any better in this direction at least.

Damn. (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416414)

And i thought the last mayor was a psycho.

Re:Damn. (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416497)

OT: I'm confused by your sig. Why is moderating someone troll or offtopic automatically abusing the system? Why would those options be there if no one should use them? (Or does your sig mean something else? It's a little unclear.)

Wow (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416415)

It's like an uber version of the passport thing they're pushing for here in the UK. Hope y'all fix this, folks. This is -not- -good- -news-. -kam

Tell that to 26.5 million US veterans... (3, Interesting)

jabbo (860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416418)

> Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the
> Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate
> citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue.

I'm sure that when a CD-ROM containing DNA markers for every single worker in New York's economy is obtained by the Russian mafia after being stolen from a (vendor|employee|contractor)'s (house|car|laptop), the tight security afforded by the mandatory (fingerprint|weak encryption|screen door) security will be of great comfort to the affected. And instead of some artificial construct like a SSN, a physically significant identity will have been stolen.

Not to mention that completely resequencing a human's genome is incredibly expensive even today.

What an incredible jackass. If this comes to pass, move to Singapore, at least they seem to have some grip on what makes business work there.

But wait, there's more... (1)

jabbo (860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416458)

Due to the advanced editing and revision facities offered by Slashdot's cutting-edge architecture, I'm afraid that I have to spread my blather across two posts. My sincerest apologies.

([Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!] - update your fucking software, this isn't a fucking stone tablet I'm hammering out here.)

Anyways, let's suppose that you can cram some large number of compressed DNA markers (0/1 for some variant, or whatever... many ways to code this) onto a few DVD's. Now, instead of just being useful for stealing identities and establishing credit, you have data that can be used to quietly discriminate when hiring, firing, insuring, lending to, or buying from any individual in this database.

If you think this won't be abused, you probably also believe that the journalists the NSA and FBI have been tracking (via their phone calls) are all terrists.

Anyone remember those catchy "visualize armed revolution" bumper stickers that started appearing after people got sick of the "visualize world peace" delusions? Just an aside, that's all. Nothing to see here...

Re:Tell that to 26.5 million US veterans... (4, Informative)

espressojim (224775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416544)

I agree that this data isn't something I want gathered (because trolling for criminals will be too easy). However, as a minor nitpick: you don't resequence the human genome for each individual. You test a relatively small number of single nucleotide polymorhpisms (SNPs) or microsattelite markers. The amount of markers needed is very small to establish uniqueness, and the cost is pretty low per person (it'll cost more to extract the blood and purify the dna than to run the genotyping.) Financially and technically this is very doable, but I don't think it SHOULD be done.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

cottage (977446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416427)

I see the benefits of this. I really do. But then we're opening ourselves up to a whole bunch of problems, not the least of which are the aforementioned and summarily dismissed civil liberties violations. And what about the health insurance issue? If they've got your DNA, and decide they are so inclined, they can determine which genetic diseases to which you are predisposed, and HIPAA goes right out the window as the concept of 'preexisting conditions' becomes something entirely different.

What is wrong with you americans?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416428)

Why isn't there an "Update: Mayor lynched on front lawn of city hall by anti-orwellian mob, mob suggests politicians be tracked with radio implants and DNA database for easier reining in. Apparently this isn't a civil rights issue." attached to this story?

Who put Bloomie up to this? (1)

weav (158099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416440)

<span mode=conspiracy> Bloomberg doesn't have the smarts to propose something like this, nor the motivation. He's being the lightning rod for somebody else. I guess he or "they" figure his political career is near enough over that he can be sacrificed.</span>

Uniquely identify? (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416445)

Are there no identical twins in the United States?

Re:Uniquely identify? (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416467)

Ok, I mistakenly thought that identical twins had similar fingerprints... so ignore what I said. :)

Re:Uniquely identify? (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416479)

Most politicians don't pay attention in science class.

Re:Uniquely identify? (1)

N. P. Coward (953833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416514)

In a land where only twins have the same DNA, only twins will be criminals! ;-)

Re:Uniquely identify? (2, Insightful)

enitime (964946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416529)

"DNA and fingerprint technology [...] will 'uniquely identify the person'"

Good point though. I wonder how the police deal with DNA evidence for twins. I very much doubt their DNA testing is sufficiently advanced to pick up the minor differences in DNA twins have. I guess they have to hope for fingerprints.

Someone should ask for a DNA sample from mayor Bloomberg. If he has nothing to hide, why not give it to the public? We can test for all kinds of diseases, maybe see if he's predisposed to any mental illness. Would people (re-)elect someone with a proven predisposition for psychotic behaviour?

Re:Uniquely identify? (2, Funny)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416547)

No. The Patriot Act coupled with the DMCA specifically prohibit unauthorized copying of DNA by infants.

Dreamworld Indeed (1)

eander315 (448340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416447)

" "You don't have to work _ but if you want to work for a company you have to have a Social Security card," he said. "The difference is, in the day and age when everybody's got a PC on their desk with Photoshop that can replicate anything, it's become a joke."

So rather than make the cards harder to forge, he tries to solve the stated problem by proposing we give the government our most detailed personal information and trust that they will never use it for purposes outside their stated goal. My favorite part of the article is that he is apparently qualified to make this type of statement because he is a successful businessman.

Hey, Bloomberg. I'm just a normal guy, but that doesn't invalidate my opinion that your idea sucks.

umm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416459)

"insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_Act_of_1974 [wikipedia.org]

Gattaca (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416462)

GATTACA. Watch it.

Re:Gattaca (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416505)

yes.. it gives me that all too familiar feeling. keep in mind though the people there were genetically scrutinized under the legal veil of drug testing. Oo Much more needs to be done to prevent that kind of discrimination.

Great plan (2, Insightful)

keyrat rafa (856668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416481)

"The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will 'uniquely identify the person' applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged."

Oh great, another plan where we track innocent people in an effort to find the guilty ones. Maybe if they chose opposite strategies they wouldn't be met with such public opposition.

I'm surprised Bloomberg does not get it (2, Insightful)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416483)

The employers who bother to ask for an SS card or even go as far as to check the number are not the problem. Even if the workers are illegal they are paying taxes so that's at least a good thing. The only crime is being in the US illegally.

The actual problem are the employers hiring illegals and paying them under the table.

The proposed program will only harm actual tax paying workers by collecting informatino that will only help to make them suspects in crimes.

"Why was your fingerprint on the telephone in that bedroom?" "Because I stayed at a holiday inn this weekend."

Bad... But any different... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416485)

This is definitly bad, but it is not that much different than what exists in most countries today. Already, today, you have some sort of social insurance card, probably a government issued health card, you have credit cards and bank cards which report all transactions to the government, to open any sort of buisness, or do home repair on your house, you need to get an inspection where some government official enters your home or buisness. You can be asked for ID or searched anywhere at any time.

DNA tracking is just a technological improvement on what has been happening (probably with your support) for the last 50 years. It is certainly evil, but it is not a sign of a comming Big Brother society... that Big Brother society has been being built with overwelming popular support forever now.

Look, every benifit has a cost. You want to live in a society where everything from how long you are allowed to grow grass in your yard, to what sorts of jokes you can tell, to what file formats you can play on your MP3 player, to what version of history is allowed to be taught to children, is regulated and controlled by the government. The price you pay for having the government micromanage every single aspect of your life, is a police state. There is no way the government can run and regulate everything (as most of you want it to be), and not have the government monitoring what it is regulating. A police state is the inevitable consequence of a powerful, centrallized, activist government.

In this case, if you support the idea of the government cracking down on illegal immigration, well how the hell is the government supposed to do that effectivly? Now, I am totally against restricting immigration, so I can consistantly be against this sort of thing. But if you don't support some sort of centralized and foolproof tracking of Americans, then how the hell do you expect to crack down on illegal immigration? The price you pay for the "awesome social benifit" of having fewer dark skin people, is Big Brother tracking you by DNA... Much like when you buy a car or stereo or house, you must weight the costs against the benifits.

If you insist, it must be true (1)

mmeister (862972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416488)

insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue.

Thank Goodness he insisted it wouldn't violate our privacy or liberties. I feel much better now.

After all, a politician would never LIE to me, right? I mean how many times, really, as a public official lied about activities that involved denial of liberties. It is not like they detain citizens illegally, or that they listen in and track citizens every action. And it certainly isn't like they would use that to spy on journalists trying to keep them semi-honest.

Why shouldn't I trust them?


This message has been brought to you by Fox News, where "fair" and "balanced" are two words in some dictionary.

Religion (1)

richpulp (942320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416501)

If a "legal U.S. worker" refuses to be DNA tested on religious grounds, can they force that worker to be so tested?

Just another way for the man (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416502)

To control and track the rest of us in their march to own this place and force all of us into vitural or actual slavery. This has already happened to a great degree. The social contract that business and government once had for the improvement of the human condition has been corrupted by these people and corporations.
You are most likely, already a slave.
Many say that this social contract never existed, But without give and take, anarchy and destruction of our current socity will be the final result.

Call me snake (1)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416510)

So which one of the Bloomberg Youth gets to die first trying to stick me with that needle?

Hey Bloomberg! (3, Funny)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416513)

Fuck you!

One thing not thought of... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416518)

But having EVERY workplace carry out blood tests will no doubt increase the transmission of diseases that are carried in the blood between the populace as lazy empoyers use the same needle with only minor cleaning in different people to save time and money and/or are ignorant of the risks associated with re-using needles. Tatoo parlours are licenced and regularly inspected but you can't do this with every single workplace. Then there's cotton swabs in the mouth. Could most small work places really do this in a manner where there aren't contamination issues rendering the tests almost worthless?

Would you mind if... (1)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416520)

DNA is a messy thing - it gets all over. Finger prints create quite a bit of litter themselves. So far, these two methods are the prevailing method of identification.

But I wonder - would you mind if identification was verified via retinal scans? If you're doing something in a legally "grey" area you're libale to leave DNA and finger prints all over. However, retinal evidence would be non existant unless the "criminal" was completely ignorant and stuck his eye in a camera (or if technology vastly improves). It's nearly impossible to track.

See, with retinal scans privacy could be [mostly] preserved while identification for employment and government services would be possible and [mostly] secure.

I'd opt for anarchy myself but I see you sissies aren't up for that ;)

I wuv the idea! (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416530)

With the recent stuff that is going on, all I have to say is this... I completely love the idea of a Country wide DNA Registry in which one could find anyone who was anywhere at any time. It is a whole lot less invasive then say implanting RFID tags which we saw at Defcon where one could read them up to 300 yards away line of sight, or requiring GPS locators to be imbedded into our cell phones so that we can be found in a moments notice in our daily lives anywhere on the planet only knowing our phone number, or imbedding special chips into our computers that would allow someone to track where a document was created or delete said document if it were determined to be a threat to national security, or listening to every phone conversation everywhere in order to determine if someone knows someone who may or may not know someone else whose uncle's wife's nephew's stepsister has ever ate at the same resturaunt as a terrorist. In the big scheme of things, this is a whole lot better than any of those ideas, and I only say that because every once in a while I hear an occasional clicking on my phone line. Go wild, I support you in every way. ---------- We will never forget 12/21/2012 ----------

Invasion of privacy (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416536)

There's been a fingerprint database in existence for quite a few years now. The system is known as AFIS or Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Each state or groups of states connects it AFIS system to the FBI and queries are done through III (Interstate Identification Index). Takes 20 minutes or less if previous positive contact was made with law enforcement.

Bloomberg assumes we're all criminals. We aren't. I'm against the collection of fingerprints or other biometric or biological information for the purpose of a wildcard criminal investigation.

I wonder, has the good mayor ever been fingerprinted? Or had his DNA logges into a database? I doubt it.

IBM announced they wouldn't use DNA (1)

edverb (644426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15416566)

In October of last year, Sam Palmisano announced that IBM's policy was never to use genetic information [iht.com] as a basis for hiring or eligibility for health insurance. To me it seemed like a wacky announcement to make at the time, yet here we are less than a year later and it seems less crazy and more prescient.
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