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Saturday, July 26th

Uk Private Investigator Blog - "Police forced to delete criminal records"


Hi,

The UK police force recently lost another case to keep a person’s “minor” criminal records in their computer system. The information tribunal reached a verdict that the police were breaking data protection laws by holding criminal records for minor offences on the police national computer for decades after the offence.

This follows another similar ruling last year when a convicted shop lifter got his “minor” criminal record deleted after complaining that it was still stopping him from getting a job.

It seems as though millions of such records may need to be deleted from the police national computer now. I guess a criminal record isn’t as much of a deterrent as it used to be! The police commented “A crime may look very trivial, but it might still be of significance to a person’s potential behaviour,”.

Of the 5 cases the tribunal looked at, and ordered to be deleted, one was for stealing a 99p packet of meat in 1984, the offender was fined £15 at the time. Another was for a charge of assault committed when the person was 13, now at age 20 it was disclosed in her job application. So, it doesn’t look like we’re opening the flood gates just yet, but the thin edge of the wedge perhaps? And for the rest of us who managed to get through teenage life without committing a crime, what do we get? Oh, we also don’t get a criminal record.

Another battle is ensuing over the breach of data protection laws with regards to DNA evidence. Currently the police are keeping DNA files of persons who were charged with a crime but not convicted. Basically, if the police say they think you did something and ask for a DNA swab to eliminate you as a suspect they keep that record forever. That’s a different kettle of fish to deleting minor criminal records in my opinion.

Thanks,
Andy
Andy on 07.26.08 @ 02:51 AM CST [link]

Saturday, July 12th

UK Private Investigator Blog - "Euro data laws"


Hi,

The UK Information Commissioner recently described European data laws as “no longer fit for purpose”. The statement comes ahead of the commissioner ordering a review of the EU data protection laws, and hiring “Rand Europe” to carry out an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of European data protection laws.

This is not a total surprise, people have been mumbling that current data protection laws in every country from the United States to Romania need to be re-done for the 21st centaury. By that they mean “the computer age” as you’d be surprised how many aspects of data protection laws were made before there was a PC in every house. Some UK laws date back to the late 70s!

Once again though, change for change’s sake is never a good idea and I hope they won’t suddenly put the breaks on the computer age by writing up some draconian throwback laws.


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Thanks,
Andy
Andy on 07.12.08 @ 10:55 AM CST [link]