Australia signs agreement to share DNA information with U.K. authorities

A new agreement will allow U.K. and Australian authorities to quickly exchange the DNA data of suspects between the two countries.

According to Austrailian news site news.com.au, the newly forged Memorandum of Understanding replaces a lengthy legal process in order to exchange suspects details with a system that allows police, border control, and spy agencies to respond more quickly.

Australia is the first country to officially join this information sharing program with the U.K., and it’s expected that authorities in the U.S. and Canada will also join by the end of the year.

Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said; “We will continue to seek opportunities for further exchange of DNA and other biometrics data to support domestic and international criminal investigations.”

Last month, it was revealed that an Australia law could allow biometric data collected from travelers passing through Australian airports to be shared with domestic and foreign agencies.

Still, all biometric data collected by Australian authorities will presumably still be subject to the Australian Privacy Principles, which promote the proper use of biometric data.

The Justice Department noted that the rapid exchange of DNA data could help in international missing persons cases, and speed the extradition of arrested suspects, as well as detect terrorists, drug dealers and people traffickers.

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