In July last year, Kuwait’s National Assembly passed a law to increase security for its citizens and tourists. The new ruling by the Persian Gulf nation required residents and tourists to submit DNA samples, which get entered into a $400 million database, in order to maintain records of people entering and leaving the country.
Under the new law, people are required to submit saliva and blood samples to the government. Anyone who fails to do so can face up to a year in a prison cell along with a $33,000 fine. Additionally, providing incorrect samples and information can also land one behind bars for up to seven years.
“We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” Jamal al-Omar, a parliament member, told AFP.
Although the country’s department of criminal evidence is now desperately trying to tell people that their information will remain confidential and not affect their personal lives, people seem to be rather unhappy with the new law.
Even though Kuwait’s efforts in ensuring security for its citizens and tourists are commendable, perhaps the country could have adopted a better way of doing so, rather than forcing people to submit DNA samples. This particular move seems overly intrusive and just on the cusp of Big Brother/"1984" style of state monitoring.
Welp, guess I won't be returning to Kuwait anytime soon. https://t.co/DejJnwAp4P— Jillian C. York (@jilliancyork) April 19, 2016