China Is Collecting DNA Under the Guise of Providing Free Health Care

December 13, 2017

(Quartz) – A free health-care program in an impoverished part of the world sounds like a welcome development. But the “Physicals for All” project in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is not what it seems, according to a Human Rights Watch report published today. Starting in 2016 and running annually from July through November, the project, though operated by health departments, is actually used by police to collect citizens’ DNA samples and blood types. This year, the program gathered such data on over 18 million residents in the region.

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