Trying to keep up with the rest of Europe, Portugal is now ready to setup a DNA database of convicted criminals that receive sentences of 3 years or more. Basically the bad guys get booked and swabbed and the database should allow authorities to solve more crimes and convict the right people.
As I had stated a few months ago, the 3 years penalty rule is an iffy situation because there are some crimes like copyright infringement that can land you up to 3 years in jail.
The 3 year sentence aka “serious crime” rule is an obvious attempt to avoid the abusive DNA indexing of every criminal infraction. Sort of contrary to what takes place in the UK where anything except traffic infractions get you “tagged”.
Keep in mind that the penal system in Portugal is way more bland than that of the US. Here, the maximum prison sentence is 25 years (No such thing as life in prison or death penalty).
The Portuguese authorities are doing their best to keep things as transparent as possible and have ensured that all will be done to guarantee the privacy of the data. Moreover, unlike the UK, criminal suspects will not be included in the DNA database and those that are acquitted will be immediately removed.
Not only criminal DNA information will be stored in the database. Anyone that wishes to be included in the database can do so. This can and has been found to be helpful in identifying missing persons and unidentified corpses.
Other countries like Spain and Greece have also recently began to maintain DNA databases.