In-depth investigations into policing and cross-border DNA exchange in the EU

The EXCHANGE project, run by the University of Minho in Portugal, has been investigating the cross-border transfer of DNA through the EU's Prüm system and has produced a number of articles of interest.

DNA transnational data journeys and the constuction of categories of suspicion

Authors: Helena Machado and Rafaela Granja


Systems for large-scale data exchanges are playing a pivotal role in the governance, surveillance, and social control of criminality in different parts of the world. Analysis This article explores the case study of the Prüm system, which is a technological system for the exchange of DNA data among several European Union (EU) countries. Making use of the concept of data journeys, it addresses how the transnational exchange of DNA data in the EU implicates the construction of categories of suspicion.

Conclusion and implications

The article shows how supranational- and national-level notions and attitudes over the ownership of data shape data journeys, and it discusses the societal implications of datafication and emerging data justice issues."

Constructing suspicion through forensic DNA databases in the EU. The views of the Prüm professionals

Authors, Helena Machado, Rafaela Granja and Nina Amelung Nunes

"This article explores the fluid and flexible forms of constructing suspicion, which take shape in transnational governance of crime through forensic DNA databases. The empirical examples are the views of professionals engaged with the so-called Prüm system. This technological identification system was developed to enable DNA data exchange across EU Member States in the context of police and judicial cooperation to control cross-border crime and terrorism. We argue that suspicion is constructed through forms of deterritorializing and reterritorializing assumptions about criminality linked to the movements of suspect communities across the European Union. Transnational crime management is configured through narratives of global expansion of criminal mobility, technical neutrality of DNA identification and the reliance on criminal categorizations of particular national populations."

Further reading


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