Spread the love

Missing indigenous women: genetic data, a tool that divides

Open in full screen mode

An ethics expert notes that the use of genetic data by the police has advantages and disadvantages. (Archive photo)

  • Émile Lapointe (View profile)Émile Lapointe

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.< /p>

After the arrest, about a week ago, of a Manitoban for the&# x27;homicide of a mixed-race woman committed several years ago, the use of genetic data by the police is the subject of debate between activists and experts.

Last Monday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Manitoba clarified that the National DNA Data Bank played an important role in the&# x27;arrest and indictment of Kevin Queau for the 2007 murder of Crystal Saunders.

According to Arthur Schafer, a professor specializing in ethics at the University of Manitoba, this case demonstrates that this tool can be very useful in many cases, particularly in unresolved cases, but he warns that without regulation, it also significant risks.

The National DNA Data Bank, which is managed by the RCMP, contains just over 650,000 DNA samples from crime scenes. It also contains, among other things, the genetic profiles of people guilty of certain crimes, victims, unidentified human remains and missing persons across Canada.

However, Arthur Schafer notes that questions remain about the freedom that should be granted to the police to use this data. Your DNA contains a lot of private information about you, including your health and your family, he warns.

Professor Schafer also points out that since Aboriginal people are over-represented in the penal system, they also occupy a considerable place in the National DNA Data Bank.

We are therefore faced with this questioning: the advantages of using data for indigenous communities, especially in surveys on missing women and girls, will they outweigh the disadvantages?

LoadingGrammy Awards: Montrealers Allison Russell and Yannick Nézet-Séguin rewarded

ELSE ON INFO: Grammy Award: Montrealers Allison Russell and Yannick Nézet-Séguin rewarded

Mr. Schafer indicates that their use to carry out certain investigations could provide answers to bereaved families or discourage certain people from committing crimes.

He warns, however, that supervision is necessary to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages, even if an advisory committee already advises the RCMP in its use of the Bank.< /p>

There needs to be monitoring and supervision, and there needs to be accountability for the parties involved.

During debates on this issue in the Senate last November, the president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, Carol McBride, said she was in favor of granting more freedom to the police regarding the use of genetic data.

She believes that this would make it possible, among other things, to resolve unsolved cases of murders of indigenous women and girls, in addition to helping to exonerate those wrongly accused.

We believe there are more benefits [than disadvantages], especially in the case of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, he said. she declared in an interview with CBC/Radio-Canada.

The pain [of the families] will not disappear, but their questions would be answered.

Open in full screen mode

The President of the Association Indigenous Women of Canada, Carol McBride (Archive photo)

An RCMP spokesperson, Robin Percival, said Friday that the National DNA Data Bank has found 80,875 leads in certain investigations by identifying offenders and 9,007 associations between crime scenes from different police organizations.

Of the 80,875 leads, 5265 were related to murder investigations.

For her part, a former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Ann Cavoukian, opposes the RCMP being responsible for the National DNA Data Bank.

It has happened in the past that the RCMP exceeded the limits of its powers, so the use of this tool should be monitored, she said.

I am against the fact that this information is accessible to all police organizations and their members, regardless of whether a case is linked to a investigative warrant or not, because this implies that they could have access to it at any time.

She believes that police officers should need a warrant given by a judge to be able to access the genetic profiles of Canadians. DNA is a very sensitive source of information because it can perfectly identify someone. It must be carefully protected, argues Ann Cavoukian.

People have the ability to preserve their personal information and their privacy, they must not forget it.

With the information d'Ozten Shebahkeget

  • Émile Lapointe (View profile)Émile LapointeFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116