Spanish researcher wants us all on her database

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Look, we'd all like our jobs to be made a little easier. But some Spanish forensic anthropologists have a rather big request - the creation of a global database of everybody in the world.

Not only that, they want it 'immediately'.

They say the database would assist in the identification of disaster victims such as the Haiti earthquake or the 2004 Asian tsunami.

It should contain computer records, they say, such as anthropological data and physiognomic characteristics - that's what your features look like, to you and me.

It would also need to contain current medical information and dental records, along with radiographic files.

And, as if that's not enough, Granada University's Tzipi Kahana says that this database should also contain all a person's identity documents.

No word on how it should be put together and maintained; no opinions on personal privacy, apparently.

But, says Kahana, combining all this data with radiographic techniques would mean it was possible to guarantee identification of mass disaster victims. Well, I should say it would.