DNA PROCESSING CONTEMPLATED IN THE CRIMINAL LAW (FORENSIC PROCEDURES) AMENDMENT ACT 37 OF 2013 AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Keywords:DNA taking, DNA retention, profiling, rights, expungement of DNA samples, right to privacy
The article focuses on the provisions of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 37 of 2013, which established the National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD) of South Africa. The implications of DNA taking, retention, and profiling on an individual’s constitutional rights are discussed with special reference to the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA). The value of DNA evidence in combating crime is not disputed. Policies relating to the parameters of the database and the duration of DNA storage are also highlighted. It is submitted that the different categories of expungement of DNA samples and profiles raise constitutional issues. The article also deliberates whether there is adequate awareness of rights and adequate resources to ensure the proper destruction or expungement of DNA samples. Although the writers are prima facie of the opinion that the individual’s right to privacy is not violated by the abovementioned Acts, only time will tell whether this opinion is correct.
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