One Country’s Disturbing Project to Build a Complete DNA Databank of Every Citizen and Foreign Visitor Is Already Underway

News For The Blind

Anyone planning a visit to Kuwait later this year may be in for a shock when they find they’ll have to give the government not just their passport, but also their DNA. A 2015 law requiring all citizens, residents and visitors to provide DNA to the government’s database will go into effect later this summer, according to Kuwaiti officials, making the small Gulf nation the first country in the world to legislate mandatory DNA collection.

The $400 million database will store the DNA samples of at least 3.3 million people—a mandate that international privacy and legal analysts are concerned is excessively broad.

“No other country in the world wants to include everyone,” said Barbara Prainsack, a professor of social science at King’s College London and an expert in bioethics and genetics. “This is a very significant step that has never been taken before.”

Almost everywhere else in the world, those…

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