Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Duncan Carling


The United States and Great Britain are the world leaders in the use of DNA databases for criminal investigations, but the laws governing their use are evolving differently in each country. This note compares the American and British DNA database programs, and looks at two notable differences in practice: the collection of DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted, and the technique of looking for an offender's relatives in the database. The note offers an explanation as to why the legislation is evolving differently, and argues that disparate cultural views on privacy are as much part of the explanation as the respective constitutional frameworks.