DATA SWEEP

Kuwait passed a law requiring mandatory DNA tests for its residents

Kuwait appears to be taking cues from the sci-fi thriller Minority Report. The country’s national parliament has passed a law that will require mandatory DNA testing for all its residents.

The move comes after a June 26 terrorist bombing claimed to be the work of ISIL, which killed at least 25 people and injured more than 200 in an explosion at a Shia mosque in Kuwait City. In response, the Kuwaiti government requested that legislators aid security agencies in making quicker arrests.

Disobeying the law, a $400 million program that was passed in early July, will result in a year in prison or a fine of $33,000. Falsifying a DNA sample will result in seven years in prison, AFP reports. It remains unclear how or when the government will collect the samples.

“We have approved the DNA testing law and approved the additional funding. We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” independent MP Jamal al-Omar told AFP.

Countries including the US and UK have already raised eyebrows for gathering genetic data from suspected and convicted criminals, which are kept in DNA databases. Kuwait’s program raises more sweeping privacy concerns, given that it requires all Kuwaitis, expats, and visitors to be tested.

In 2008, for instance, the European court of human rights in Strasbourg ruled that storing innocent people’s genetic records on a criminal register was against the right to respect for private and family life.

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