Police abuse database access for personal gain

Ars TechnicaThe report by Independent Monitor Nicholas Mitchell listed a host of wrongful searches, including an officer getting a phone number of a woman he met on assignment, and an officer running the license plate of a man for a friend who then stalked that person. None of the 25 Denver officers who abused the crime databases were charged with any access crime. The harshest penalty was a three-day suspension. Civilians who accessed the databases without authorization, however, most likely would be charged with hacking...

The Denver Police Department does not audit officers' use of the databases but investigates complaints of abuse.

The lack of an audit should be a red flag in and of itself. Databases like these need to be coded so that every lookup has the identifying codes for the officer who requested the lookup, the officer who actually performed the lookup, the investigation for which the lookup was performed, and a specific, individual description of how the lookup is connected to the investigation. When that investigation is closed, every record related to it should be audited again and a notification sent to the subject of the lookup explaining what happened and why.

And providing a simple form to send back in if they feel the lookup was inappropriate.

This entry was published Thu Mar 24 11:19:16 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-03-24 11:19:16.0. [Tweet]

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