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Databases Privacy United Kingdom

UK Police Database Abuse 'Hugely Intrusive' 88

twoheadedboy writes "Police database abuse has been branded as 'hugely intrusive' after a report showed over 900 officers and staff had breached the Data Protection Act over the last three years. Furthermore, 243 police officers and staff received criminal convictions for breaking laws set down by the DPA. 'Our investigation shows that not only have police employees been found to have run background records checks on friends and possible partners, but some have been convicted for passing sensitive information to criminal gangs and drug dealers,' said Daniel Hamilton, director of the Big Brother Watch."
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UK Police Database Abuse 'Hugely Intrusive'

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  • Dem Cops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:33AM (#36694422)

    Man, you Americans should really rein in your abusive cops. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. Its like you are living in a police state. You should stop voting for idiots who let this happen.

    Oh, wait. Not Americans?

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Friday July 08, 2011 @10:36AM (#36694456) Journal
    3) Now find the obvious analogy with fire arms.
  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Friday July 08, 2011 @11:49AM (#36695542)
    The people who work there are going to lose out, but the owners won't. They're already planning to start up the Sun on Sunday (or something similar), what's the betting they'll use this as an opportunity to get rid of the people they don't like and hire back the ones they do at a reduced rate? And the whole Rebekah Brooks thing is a smokescreen. They know if they'd kicked her out last week it wouldn't have been enough to sate the public and James Murdoch would have been next on the hit list. What they'll do instead is keep her dangling in front of the public while everyone bays for her blood and when it gets to fever pitch they'll cut her loose and claim they've done everything that was asked of them. Ultimately the Murdoch empire won't suffer one jot over this whole mess.
  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Friday July 08, 2011 @12:09PM (#36695894)

    Yes, I was going to post something like this.

    Corrupt police are being caught, and convicted. It's getting reported. Sure, some holes might need to be closed in terms of accessing their system, or requesting permission to use it, but the fact that these guys aren't getting away with it is a very good thing.

  • by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Friday July 08, 2011 @12:10PM (#36695902)

    Quite right.

    Saying that it's one's patriotic duty to bend over conveniently neglects the negative side effects of being the subject of police attention even if completely innocent.

    * Waste of taxpayer money for the time spent in barking up the wrong tree
    * Inconvenience to the detained
    * Damage to reputation among bystanders that are observing
    * Other things I could easily mention

    The only time I'd welcome being investigated is if I was already under suspicion and getting checked is going to do more good than harm. Otherwise, it's a waste of everyone's time.

    Especially for the government, which has enough pork in the budget as it is without police wasting precious man-hours stepping on our rights.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Friday July 08, 2011 @01:20PM (#36697018)

    There are literally millions of people who work for the police in the UK so to quote a figure of 800 incidents over three years suddenly seems pretty insignificant. ...
    like the first investigation into phone tapping scandal which found little only 'isolated cases' and only 2 people involved when clearly it turns out over 4000 cases and potentially,

    Why don't you think the 800 cases aren't just the tip of the iceberg in the same way the phone tapping investigation turned out to be? After all cops have a hell of a lot more solidarity among themselves than reporters do and thus much less incentive to rat out another cop.

    Anyone caught looking things up for personal reasons are sacked and sometimes prosecuted.

    The problem is in the catching. It is completely impractical to check all of those audit logs unless something else happens to bring a person under investigation. As long as they keep their nose clean and stay away from looking up any "high profile" information like celebrities or major public crimes no one will even look at their audit trail much less put in all of the effort to determine if each search was legitimate. Misuse of the database is essentially unpoliceable.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.