Social Question

chyna's avatar

Do you think DNA should be taken at birth?

Asked by chyna (51296points) 1 month ago

Why or why not?
I was watching a true crime show that had taken place in London. An 18 year old girl was murdered and then raped. It took a long time to find the guy who did it, but when they found him, he was found to have committed the same acts in London and in Australia. The mother is advocating for DNA to be taken at birth.
I’m not sure what I think of this. On one hand, it invades each person’s privacy. On the other hand, it would help catch criminals quicker. What do you think?

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33 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

No. I don’t trust our government to handle anything correctly, let alone our dna.

canidmajor's avatar

No, absolutely not,unless the parents ask it to be. The use of personal DNA after it leaves the body is unregulated, and the use of it is then open for abuse.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

No. Not in the US at least. Here, we are presumed innocent before being proved guilty. Taking my DNA at my birth is akin to saying I am guilty before I’ve even contemplated any possible crime.

snowberry's avatar

Considering that the rapists are also sometimes given paternal rights, absolutely not! https://prismreports.org/2022/03/22/in-multiple-states-rapists-can-sue-their-victims-for-parental-custody/
And in Muslim countries where Sharia law is in force, men who living under Sharia law cannot afford the bride price just rape the girl they want, and she must marry him.

Let’s not give these criminals more favor!

gorillapaws's avatar

Absolutely not. These killers are being found via DNA anyways via these DNA sites. They’ll get a match for a 2nd cousin of the killer’s DNA and they can use genealogy to narrow down the suspect pool to a small handful of matches and then check where they were living at the time. It’s how they caught the Golden State Killer.

seawulf575's avatar

It’s an interesting thought. Do I favor everyone being on some DNA database? Not a chance. Our government has already shown how unethical they can be with things like the MKUltra program. Do I favor paternity tests as part of each live birth? Absolutely. Before anyone is allowed to be listed as the father on the birth certificate. But these results are not for governmental use.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Not at this time. Probably never should happen.
Which is sad. Because research has shown that DNA can tell us a lot about potential health issues.
However. I guess I consider my DNA, to be my business.

Unfortunately. Life has taught me, never to trust ANYONE.

Zaku's avatar

No. It should be private. There are far too many abuses enabled by keeping people’s DNA in databases.

Using invasive measures to provide security is usually (and in this case too) a fundamental mistake. “Something happened to my loved one, so the laws for everyone must change so it should never happen again” is typically a grief response, but it’s almost always a gross overreaction.

Those of us who value liberty and privacy, would disagree.

A world where the government (and so likely, also, some non-government parties, and some wicked people in both), has DNA records on everyone, or video surveillance of everyone, etc, seems to me a hellish society, and is far far far worse than an occasional horrific crime not being solved.

I don’t think that societies or laws that try to control and dominate everyone, or deny them privacy, etc, deserve to exist, all else being equal – they are fundamentally perpetrators – which can only be justified by a much GREATER evil, which individual unsolved murders definitely are not, IMO.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I think DNA should be stored long with the newborn social security number.

Lightlyseared's avatar

According to Alabama, its probably best to record it at conception.

jca2's avatar

No. I wouldn’t trust the hospital or whoever has taken it and held it.

I think in the case of paternity, I’m all in favor of DNA tests when there’s a father who is claiming that the child is not his. That’s what happens in New York. When I worked in the social services department, if a father denied paternity, they would do a test. If he was found to not be the father, the government paid for the test. If he was found to be the father, he had to pay for the test (in addition to being on the hook for payments toward the child). I don’t think that every birth requires or should require a DNA test of the father. If the father agrees that the child is his, and signs the birth certificate that he is the father, why do a test?

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 Unfortunately there are many places where, if a man puts his name on the BC as the father, he is deemed to be responsible for that child. If it is later found out to be from another man, it doesn’t matter. He is still responsible. And in Michigan (I believe) there was a case where a guy divorced his wife, was found to not be the father, proved it in court, and was still ordered to pay child support To me, it’s a matter of who the courts decided was the best provider.

There have been studies that show various numbers of men, up to 30%, were not the biological father of their children

To me, the paternity test on every birth, before a father can be legally named, gives the father informed consent. It has proven he is, indeed, the father. And I don’t understand why women get so upset by this. If they have been faithful there is no problem. It could be done as a matter of course for all live births….just another test that is run. On the flip-side, if they have been unfaithful, if the child belongs to some other man, it would be shown before the man (husband or not) signs off on the BC. Going that route (just believing the woman) sets men up for a huge headache and heartache. He has been cheated on, he has been lied to, and because of that he is financially responsible for someone else’s child. And to get to the truth, he now has to enter into the legal system, pay a bunch of lawyers and courts to determine if he is the father. Even that isn’t a guarantee he won’t be held legally accountable. And if he doesn’t find out for years, he may have gotten an attachment to the child which would be in jeopardy if he is not the father. It’s a sucky situation.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 Agreed there are probably a bunch of situations where there were problems.

I’m not a woman who is upset by this discussion.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s fine with me as long as it is treated like other health information. The positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I agree that paternity testing would be beneficial.
I suppose I took the thread as the government getting a full understand of our DNA.
That could lead to all kinds of issues.
How’d you like to be ineligible for a job, because of your DNA?

gorillapaws's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “How’d you like to be ineligible for a job, because of your DNA?”

See Gattaca

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Love that movie.

seawulf575's avatar

There has been steps forward in bioelectronic implants that will be able to not only establish your DNA, but will be able to totally monitor your body and broadcast that information to whomever the manufacturers wish it to go to. Of course they will also be used to allow you to go onto the internet and to be used as a debit card. Kinda scary technology.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s just an updated version of the bar code terror in the 80s @seawulf575.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III One example is the Bill Gates patent WO2020060606A1. It is designed to use wearer’s activities on a given topic as a basis for pay. In other words, it is tracking your body’s activities including all vitals to determine if you are actually working on what you need to be working on. Now, suppose they put this into practice at your work. Suddenly you are required to wear one and will be paid based on how much actual time you spend working? You are at work from 9–5:30 with a half hour off for lunch. So you are supposedly working for all 8 hours. But if you use the bathroom, that is non-productive time so doesn’t contribute to your paycheck. Maybe you go get a cup of coffee or a soda. That is non-productive time. Someone asks you a non-work related question and you answer. That is non-productive time.
Every distraction in a given day reduces your pay for the day. Suddenly you are at work for 8 hours but are only getting paid for maybe 6 hours. Think that would be a good deal? And really, if they can get to that point, would it be so hard to believe all that information could be used for other reasons?

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 Do you know of any people who, as workers, would agree to a job where your time at the bathroom or your time when a coworker asks you a question would be deducted from your paycheck? I wouldn’t accept a job like that. Would you?

LadyMarissa's avatar

There is NO need to take it at birth as it doesn’t change. Every time somebody sends in their DNA sample into Ancestry, 123 & Me, or any of the others, it is already being collected. The criminal doesn’t have to send in their own sample as a cousin will give the cops the same results. A serial killer in CA was caught after his cousin sent in their sample to see if their dad was really their dad or if they had any unknown relatives. The killer was flagged as a relative & then the cops dug deeper & it lead them to the killer’s front door.

When my brother did a DNA search out of curiosity, he opened every member of our family to unauthorized info being given out.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I have heard pretty wild things about Amazon warehouse workers. Something production based, that has people claiming that going to the restroom is essentially in trade for being able to fulfill expectations.

There is a Boeing plant, here in Charleston SC. People on the lower end of the totem pole, say it’s very rough. I guess they have people constantly making sure that you’re working. Anyone who isn’t actively doing something is asked to explain themselves.

The bigger the corporation, the worse they can treat the employees.

jca2's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Oh, there’s a history of things like that but employees have ammunition – going to the state Department of Labor and filing for an unfair labor practice or violations of the labor law, or the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (if there’s something that’s targeting a certain person or class). Walmart is a good example. Walmart is notorious for being a crappy employer, but if you google it, you’ll find examples where workers have pushed back and won, as high up as the Supreme Court.

It’s not perfect but it’s not 100% where the employer just does whatever they want and workers have no choice but to take it. I was a full time union rep for over ten years. Management has rights but employees have rights, too. Sometimes management gets too heavy handed and employees have to push back.

Some employees where I worked have used private labor employees (and won), and I have had plenty of times where I was looking for help (as a rep) and consulted with the NYS DOL (Dept of Labor) for answers.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I, personally, have left the job market. So I’m not worried about going to work for anyone. But here’s the problem: suppose you are working at a job and they suddenly decide to start going the route of monitoring you all the time? You would suddenly be faced with doing it or being out of a job. And as one company starts, others will follow. It is a great deal for them: their payroll costs go down. And didn’t we just see this with Covid-19? People lost their jobs if they refused to get vaccinated. Gee, it was put forth for everyone, to keep everyone safe, so it’s only fair, right? Except it wasn’t a proven vaccine and in the end didn’t work as it was originally stated it did. It didn’t keep people from getting or spreading the disease. But between when the rules for having to get it came out and the evidence it didn’t work as sold came out a lot of people lost their jobs. And it wasn’t just one company. So yes, I can see something like this being pushed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pretty sure it would be an invasion of privacy. Which is illegal.

flutherother's avatar

If everyone’s DNA was taken at birth and the data fed into a giant AI it could have huge benefits for individuals by predicting what diseases you are susceptible to, what subjects you ought to study and what career would best suit you.

It could identify those individuals likely to use the data for nefarious purposes so we can ensure they don’t get access to it. It might identify those who would make the best partners for us.wherever they might live.
As to the dangers it can’t make the world any more messed up than it already is.

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother Question: what if those running the AI computer are identified as the ones using it as nefarious purposes? Who would stop them? They’d just bury that tidbit of info and keep doing what they want.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I AM a “catastrophic thinker.”
Plenty paranoid.

But. I instinctively look for the potential for danger, in regards to technology. I expect the unexpected.

We’ve seen what robots we can make. What would AI choose, as a physical body? Giant metal spiders, with lazers? If we’re lucky!

We still lose control of fire.
That’s pretty basic technology.
We’ve had thousands of years.

If they don’t kill us all, I’m not so convinced they are so smart after all.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 An interesting way of looking at it. But think of what was being said: AI could be used to evaluate all the DNA to help us determine all sorts of things that could impact how our society operates. Suppose they came out with the determination that you, at birth, had the genetic possibility of being nefarious? How would that impact your life? How would the government want to use that information?

It isn’t the computer that worries me, it’s the people that run it. And with AI, it’s even worse…it’s the people that program it that can tell the AI what facts to use for a basis in it’s thinking. Look at the issues Google’s Gemini has been having. This article touches on some of them. It started with Gemini being unable to create pictures of influential pictures white people from history without making them black. The article shows a picture Gemini made when asked to draw a picture of the pope. Last time I checked, the pope is an old white guy. What Gemini drew was a younger black woman in pope’s clothing. But the article goes on to show Gemini was programmed to not denounce things like pedophilia. When this was pointed out Google was embarrassed and changed the programming.

AI is only as good as the programmers. Unfortunately too many people believe AI is a completely independent entity and that it is infallible.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^The potential for AI being the most important thing we have ever done, is undeniable.
I am well aware of many benefits.

My science fiction addiction, sees just as limitless potential for them to hurt us as help.

The internet is a double edged sword. I expect AI to follow suit.

snowberry's avatar

This discussion reminds me a bit of my experience when computers were first being used in business. I received a bill in error, and called to straighten it out. The idiot who answered the phone said, “Computers don’t make mistakes!” Well, she wasn’t exactly right, as we now know. Computers get bugs and viruses, and if inaccurate information was fed into it, then of course the bill will be wrong!

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