You’d Need a Heart of Stone

Via NO2ID, this:

A high-flying city lawyer was fired from her £150,000-a-year job after a ‘routine security check’ revealed her DNA was held on the national database – over a ‘false allegation’ made against her.

Lorraine Elliott said that she felt ‘gobsmacked and depressed’ after bosses spotted her file during ‘background clearance’ checks as she was just about to start work on a new project.

The mother-of-three today described her reputation as having been ‘tainted’ after she was dismissed from her post following the discovery of her DNA profile – despite never having been charged with an offence.

Terrible. Appalling. This is the disgraceful state of affairs brought about by the obsessive and paranoid database state. Is this not the very thing that those of us opposed to the creeping surveillance state warned about? If my response seems a little light on gravitas, it’s because of this:

Ms Elliott was just about to take up working on the government’s own national identity card scheme which required the routine checks to be made before she was ‘cleared’ for the role.

Oh, my. Oh, my. The irony. Delicious.


Update: The link to the Mail seems not to be working.


Update: The Economic Voice has more.

This effectively creates a new class of criminal, the ‘guilty innocents’. We used to have a system where you were either guilty or you were innocent. Now you can be left in limbo for 6 years. Remember also that the government’s original plans, but for the intervention of the EU, was for indefinite holding of DNA! Food for thought.

Had she not been going for a job that requires police background clearances she may well never have realised the repercussions of these new rules. Most people will just dismiss this as an isolated case to be ignored, but it could easily happen to anyone by just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just because it may happen infrequently doesn’t make it right.

Quite. Remember, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.


Update: The Telegraph elucidates further.


  1. Most amusing. Shame it wont make these tossers think twice about trying to control every aspect of our lives, even if it does bite the odd one of them on the arse.

  2. The story literally doesn’t make sense (which I assume is why the DM has deleted it) – unless she’s lied during the application process, being on the DB isn’t cause for firing.

    I assume what’s happened is that she’s been asked “have you ever been arrested” on the application form and ticked “no”. Which, if you’re a solicitor, is an insanely bloody stupid thing to do [*] – the only difference between post- and pre-database is that she got caught by DB checks rather than someone pointing it out.

    [*] my sister’s a City lawyer. Various people who qualified at the same time as her had embarrassing youthful police records; luckily, their tutors pointed out that firms would care barely a jot if divulged, but that they’d be ruined forever if they were caught lying. Everyone divulged; everyone who divulged still ended up with a decent job.
    .-= My last blog ..What I’ve been up to, week ending 2009-11-08 =-.

  3. What struck me as odd was the fact that her DNA was taken in the first place. I wouldn’t have thought it an arrestable offence, whether she was guilty or not.

    All that said, NO2ID’s point stands, so is worth commenting upon.

  4. Indefinite retention is the Government’s current practice, not a plan that has yet to be implemented.

    However, since it takes at least that long (and a huge amount of time and money) to get a case through to and through the ECHR, then 6 years is a good approximation to indefinitely – especially if you are of a caste that may make you a target for re-arrest.

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