Careful who you next give your blood to.

It could result in the details of your DNA being stored on a government database. Or even your DNA itself.

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The data could then be used for surveillance of people based on ethnicity and religion.

The Chinese government has already initiated such a project with its Uighur population.

Authorities are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, and other biometric data of millions of people aged 12-65 in the country's westernmost Xinjiang region.

The Uighur community is based in this region. At present, there are 11 million Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Although the collections were officially voluntary, it is believed that the Uighurs were coerced to participate.

Although the ability of governments to engage in such surveillance has long been known, this initiative by the Chinese government surely opens the floodgates to it becoming a reality.

After all, who knows what even democratic western governments might do in a state of emergency.

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