This is fantastic news:
Two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained by police, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
The men’s information was held by South Yorkshire Police, although neither was convicted of any offence.
The judgement could have major implications on how DNA records are stored in the UK’s national database.
The judges said keeping the information “could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society”.
The database may now have to be scaled back following the unanimous judgement by 17 senior judges from across Europe.
Is it too early to open a bottle of champagne?
Update: From the judgment:
In conclusion, the Court finds that the blanket and indiscriminate nature of the powers of retention of the fingerprints, cellular samples and DNA profiles of persons suspected but not convicted of offences, as applied in the case of the present applicants, fails to strike a fair balance between the competing public and private interests and that the respondent State has overstepped any acceptable margin of appreciation in this regard. Accordingly, the retention at issue constitutes a disproportionate interference with the applicants’ right to respect for private life and cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society.