Journal of Penal Law and Criminology
Evaluation of Molecular Genetic Analysis in Criminal Procedure Law in Terms of Protection of Sensitive Personal DataAyşe Özge Atalay
Although the protection of personal data is a requirement and has a great importance, the diversification of both the data within the scope of personal data and the situations that may cause a violation of the law in terms of protection of this data, makes this protection difficult and necessitates the creation of new legal protection mechanisms. Criminal procedure law is the branch of law which most needs personal data. Molecular genetic analysis is regulated by Articles 78 and thereafter of the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code No. 5271 which is focused on sensitive personal data. Although there are debates on whether or not they should be established in our country, DNA data banks in most countries require different evaluations on the protection of sensitive personal data. In our study, molecular genetic analysis in criminal procedure law is examined in terms of the protection of sensitive personal data and examining firstly Turkish criminal procedure law and then significant comparative law examples. In this regard, the legal regulations related to molecular genetic analysis, the protection mechanisms envisaged in these regulations and the situations reflected in practice are presented and the issues discussed in the judicial decisions are also mentioned. The study was completed by presenting certain important points related to the subject and with specific explanations on whether or not a national DNA database should be established in our country.
Ceza Muhakemesi Hukukunda Moleküler Genetik İncelemelerin Özel Nitelikli Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Açısından DeğerlendirilmesiAyşe Özge Atalay
Kişisel verilerin korunması, büyük bir önem ve ihtiyaç arz etmekle birlikte, günümüzde hem kişisel veri kapsamına giren unsurların hem de bu verilerin korunması bağlamında hukuka aykırılık teşkil edebilecek durumların çeşitlenmesi, korumayı zorlaştırmakta ve hukuki açıdan yeni koruma imkânlarının oluşturulması gerekliliğini doğurmaktadır. Ceza muhakemesi hukuku, niteliği itibarıyla kişisel verilere en çok ihtiyaç duyan hukuk alanını teşkil etmektedir. 5271 sayılı Ceza Muhakemesi Kanunu’nun 78 ve devamı maddelerinde düzenlenen moleküler genetik incelemeler de bu kapsamda özel nitelikli kişisel verileri konu edinmektedir. Üstelik ülkemiz açısından kurulup kurulmaması yönünde tartışmalar bulunsa da, çoğu ülke açısından DNA veri bankalarının mevcudiyeti, özel nitelikli kişisel verilerin korunması konusunda farklı değerlendirmeler yapılmasını gerektirmektedir. Çalışmamızda, ceza muhakemesi hukukunda moleküler genetik inceleme yöntemi, özel nitelikli kişisel verilerin korunması açısından incelenmiş ve öncelikle Türk ceza muhakemesi hukukuna, daha sonra ise önemli mukayeseli hukuk örneklerine yer verilmiştir. Bu uğurda, moleküler genetik inceleme yöntemine ilişkin yasal düzenlemeler, bu düzenlemelerde öngörülen koruma mekanizmaları ve uygulamaya yansıyan durumlar üzerinde durulduktan sonra, yargı kararlarında ele alınan hususlara da değinilmiştir. Konuya ilişkin olarak tespit edilen bazı önemli noktalar ve özellikle de ülkemizde bir ulusal DNA veri bankası kurulması gerekip gerekmediği hususundaki açıklamalar ile birlikte bir takım öneriler sunularak çalışma tamamlanmıştır.
If we placed all of our personal data in a circle, the information coming from a molecular genetic analysis of our DNA would be located at the center point. This centre point symbolizes our sensitive personal data. Compared with other branches of law, criminal procedural law is the branch of law which most needs personal data and therefore performs the most interventions in accordance with its proceedings. Moreover, data in the category of sensitive personal data has a great importance in terms of criminal procedure. Since DNA samples cannot be manipulated and provide results with close to 100 percent accuracy, they offer a valuable type of evidence in terms of revealing the material truth. Depending on the offense committed, the molecular genetic analysis method therefore constitutes an important approach in the investigation and prosecution phases of criminal procedure, as being a method of reading the markers expressed in DNA data. Making use of DNA samples is important for criminal procedural law, but it requires using sensitive personal data. For this reason, the need for protecting sensitive personal data should be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the criminal procedure through to the conclusion. In this study, the molecular genetic analysis method in criminal procedural law will be evaluated, especially with regard to the protection of personal data. To this end, firstly the definition of personal data and the classification of specific personal data will be given and subsequently the legal provisions in Turkish criminal procedural law will be examined in detail. As will be seen, in terms of molecular genetic analysis, there are important provisions in the Turkish legislation regarding the protection of personal data. The most important one of these provisions is allowing the application of this method only in cases of where a judge renders a decision based on essentiality. In addition to specifically regulating confidentiality, the objectivity of the expert who makes this analysis and the destruction of the samples used in the analysis have also been regulated. After the evaluation of Turkish legislation, views on the possibility of establishing a national DNA data bank in Turkey, will be discussed. In this regard, opinions in the doctrine shall be presented and the obsolete draft Act on a national DNA data bank in Turkey will be explained. After this comprehensive analysis of the Turkish law, the next topic will be the regulation of molecular genetic analysis in comparative law. In that context, since the related Articles of the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) have been translated from the German Criminal Procedure Code (StGB), the first country to be compared will be Germany. In this way, to avoid repeating the same provisions, two different methods will be explained which are regulated in the StGB but which do not appear in the CPC. These are: mass DNA analysis and data storage used for future criminal procedures. In other words a DNA data bank. The second country to be examined after Germany is the United Kingdom. This is because until the ECtHR’s famous decision in the Case of S. and Marper v. the United Kingdom this country had implemented a highly controversial system. Until this decision, the United Kingdom kept DNA cell samples for an indefinite period. Since this kind of application constitutes a very serious interference to the right to privacy regulated in Article 8 of ECHR, the ECtHR ruled against the United Kingdom, and the country made some amendments to its domestic law. Following the United Kingdom, the United States of America will be examined due to it having the largest DNA data bank in the world. This DNA data bank, named CODIS, is used by the FBI. Subsequently, other countries such as France, Italy and Canada (where national DNA data banks have existed for a long time) will be examined, and the different features of the practices in these countries will be explained. In the conclusion, a general evaluation and some important suggestions will be made which should be taken into consideration in case of the establishment of a national DNA data bank in Turkey. In this context, countries that have the most positive practices regarding the protection of personal data will be given as examples. Thus, the recommendations will be given for reaching and even going beyond the levels of international standards.