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UK Police Database Abuse 'Hugely Intrusive'

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Databases 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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the terrorists... (-1, Offtopic)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694098)

.. have won.

Re:the terrorists... (2)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694138)

I'd say more News of the World has won.

Re:the terrorists... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694500)

You mean you win by shutting your doors? OK... :-}

Re:the terrorists... (4, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:the terrorists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694424)

.. have won.

they always win
either they destroy everything or they terrorize

there are only a few who understand that freedom is more important as security(even personal)
(because if you start compromising freedom the terrorists also win)

Re:the terrorists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694654)

sounds like the real terrorists are the idiots in office who make these decisions, not the asshole enemies who attack us from time to time.

at least the enemies usually don't pretend to be our friends.

Re:the terrorists... (4, Informative)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695478)

.. have won.

This story is sensationalist scare mongering crap and belongs in the Sun and certainly not here. 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. My partner works for the police and has advised me that every record they check, leaves a log of who they are and what crime they are looking it up in relation to and why. Anyone caught looking things up for personal reasons are sacked and sometimes prosecuted. That's where the 800 and 243 figures come from.

People are people and yes it would be nice if the police and support staff were immune to the case of human stupidity. Personally I am far more concerned about higher-up, more serious incidents 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, nearly every British newspaper. The head of the first investigation then walked into a well paid job for the very people he was investigating with the blessing of the UK government and no questions were asked.

Re:the terrorists... (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Statistics, numeracy, etc. (3, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36697230)

There are literally millions of people who work for the police in the UK

Really? Considering that working for the police in the UK involves being a member of the UK labor force, which is just over 31million [wikipedia.org] persons, you're suggesting that at least 1 in 30 of them is working for the police. And that's interpreting your "literally millions" as being just 1 million.

Actually, adding together the police force sizes [wikipedia.org] for England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, one gets a total of 164,580 which is about one sixth of a million.

Re:the terrorists... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36695614)


It's not just in the UK.

Here in Winnipeg, Canada I know a cop who routinely looks up "the dirt" for friends. Admittedly he's done it for me once, but I felt a bit guilty (it was about my current gf I met 11 years ago) and haven't asked him to do it since.

Re:the terrorists... (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696396)

LOL They won a long time ago. I suspect that guy from Big Brother Watch is a very busy person.

But if you're not doing anything wrong... (5, Interesting)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694144)

You have nothing to fear from the authorities!

Right? Right? Helloooo?

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694314)

Notice though that they've already gotten 243 convictions. That's not trivial.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696080)

Agreed. Something seems to actually be working. That this is out in the open and people are being caught and punished is all good.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694364)

Call me a cynic, but people are people.

Communism, Socialism, Corporateism, police state, etc. If it can be corrupted or misused in time it will be. The trick is mitigating the corruption and weighing the benefits against the possible downsides.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (1)

the_leander (759904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695258)

Undoing mod - went to select insightful and somehow ended up with redundant, sorry about that Anon.

Wrong lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694426)

Right lesson: The more political power, the more injustice. Power will be abused, and absolute power will be abused absolutely.

I would go one step further and say that power itself is the abuse.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694580)

Actually, I *do* have something to fear from the authorities even if I've done nothing wrong.

Besides the rampant possibilities of being joe jobbed or falling victim to plain incompetence, I'm not keen on having my precious tax dollars wasted on innocent me when there are REAL CROOKS out there to go after.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694734)

Whoosh...

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (2)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695178)

No, he got the joke, he just didn't find it very funny. He recognised the old line and pointed out the fallacy of the meme, thereby whooshing over your shallow, sarcastic head.

In other words, he effectively dispelled the joke.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696270)

Actually, I *do* have something to fear from the authorities even if I've done nothing wrong.

Besides the rampant possibilities of being joe jobbed or falling victim to plain incompetence, I'm not keen on having my precious tax dollars wasted on innocent me when there are REAL CROOKS out there to go after.

I will never trust ANY authority and I have taught my children the same especially during encounters with the pigs. They lie cheat steal and murder on a daily basis and the system rewards them for it. Wake up sheeple, there's a war gaiong on, the pigs vs the people.

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (4, Funny)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36698184)

I will never trust ANY authority and I have taught my children the same

+1 ironic?

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694658)

To quite the great philosophers NWA: Fuck the police

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696674)

To quite the great philosophers NWA: Fuck the police

and also when philosophers quote philosophers! :P [youtu.be]

Re:But if you're not doing anything wrong... (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36698020)

Like that bald headed pantload Dr Phil said "People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing". As a trite little saying (he's full of those) it seems innocuous, but when you put a little historical perspective on it you see that it is yet another door way into absolute dictatorship!

"passing sensitive information to criminal gangs" (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694198)

And, perhaps, tabloid reporters? Or is that the same thing?

Re:"passing sensitive information to criminal gang (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694354)

And, perhaps, tabloid reporters? Or is that the same thing?

Please, don't insult gangbangers

Re:"passing sensitive information to criminal gang (2)

geniice (1336589) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695212)

Strangely no. For some years the police database has been the one database the tabloids won't touch. Everything else up to and including medical records is fine but going for the police database has historically resulted in the police carrying out investigations and no one wants that.

See Nick Davies's book flat earth news for details.

Re:"passing sensitive information to criminal gang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36695686)

Wasn't bribing police officers for stories one of the big reasons for all this controversy about Murdoch's newspaper? Seems to me like nothing is off limits anymore.

Re:"passing sensitive information to criminal gang (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696364)

Yes I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. Its also a a little odd in the sense that generally any worthwhile crime reporter will have enough contacts with the police to get tipped of to interesting stories without having to make payment beyond the odd pint of beer.

Re:"passing sensitive information to criminal gang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36697110)

Pints of beer lead to scotches.
Scotches lead to bottles of scotch.
Bottles of scotch lead to cases of same.
When you don't have time to get a case, just pass the money instead.
When you've started on the money trail, the amounts grow as corruption settles in.

Man is a wanting animal. Greed knows few boundaries.

storing personally identifiable information 101 (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694262)

1) if you collect data the data will be used.
2) reread 1. until you get it.

Re:storing personally identifiable information 101 (1, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694456)

3) Now find the obvious analogy with fire arms.

Re:storing personally identifiable information 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694558)

Did you mean "If you let the government collect your firearms, they'll be used (presumably on you)"?

Or perhaps data and firearms are very different things...

- T

Re:storing personally identifiable information 101 (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694642)

sorry, I don't do analogies...

Re:storing personally identifiable information 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694872)

But you do acknowledge that analogies are inevitable, since they are merely a use of data?

Re:storing personally identifiable information 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694846)

Well, duh, of course I go to the shooting range to keep in practice for the zombie apocalypse. Thats just basic survival 101.

A NOVEL IDEA: DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING DATABASE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694274)

If you can't do the shine, don't do the crime !!

DON'T DO IT !!

And get thee to a dentist to at least be presentable in your MUG SHOT !!

Re:A NOVEL IDEA: DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING DATABASE (4, Informative)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694598)

In the UK, if you are questioned for a major crime, even as a witness, and a DNA sample is taken, you are on the database for life. You don't have to do the crime, you have to live within a few streets of someone might have done the crime.

Re:A NOVEL IDEA: DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING DATABASE (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36703462)

In the UK, if you are questioned for a major crime, even as a witness, and a DNA sample is taken, you are on the database for life. You don't have to do the crime, you have to live within a few streets of someone might have done the crime.

This should be changing soon (if the politicians ever get around to that Protection of Freedoms Bill) because the Courts (now both the ECHR and Supreme Court) have said that this is illegal. Unfortunately, the court decided not to do anything (like punishing the police, or demanding that data be destroyed) until Parliament had their say. ... and people say the Courts have no respect for Parliamentary Sovereignty.

[If you're really interested, I wrote something up for PPUk on this, here [pirateparty.org.uk] .]

Re:A NOVEL IDEA: DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING DATABASE (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694612)

Right, I'll just choose never to be suspected of a crime. How could I be so blind?

Re:A NOVEL IDEA: DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING DATABASE (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36697382)

Right, I'll just choose never to be suspected of a crime. How could I be so blind?

Make sure you also choose to prevent suspicion ever falling on any of your neighbours, friends, acquaintances, workmates, or people who hang out in the same bars or social clubs as you. Otherwise, you're fair game for the DNA database.

It's all up to you, remember...

Surprise! (3)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694320)

You mean that when all those people were warning us about how all that surveillance could be abused, how all the increases in police power could wind up being a problem, they were right? WOW!

Re:Surprise! (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694378)

Slight correction to subject, it should be "!Surprise".

God sees (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694358)

God says...
tardy prosper Etexts firmament unfledged kindness Firminus
poison vicissitude sanctity discovered lessons reckoning
causing straitly Apostle diddest enervated throne wooed
disorders will Word distraction directeth manifoldness
man's sail Manichees' wisely invite abideth proffer effectedst
reverential elements shadows shalt intervals chilled appointment
thickeneth wroth lieth deceivableness passing ceases inveigler
littles unravelied

The future looks bright! (1)

Push Latency (930039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694406)

Weird - I would never have suspected something like this would be going on.

Re:The future looks bright! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695244)

penus! anus! penus! anyus! devil! devil! devil! devil!

Dem Cops (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Dem Cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694600)

No, we wouldn't have convicted them and painted anyone who pointed out that it was illegal as a freedom hating terrorist.

Posted confidential information on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694508)

A staff-member lost his job because he put sensitive information from the database on Facebook. This is wrong on so many different levels that I don't know where to start. But, as a general tip I would advice people of using confidential government databases to spice up their Facebook updates.

ITS OVER 900!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36694512)

Its 1/10 of the way to OVER 9000!!!!!

Quis... (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694592)

...custodiet ipsos custodes?

Re:Quis... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36694618)

yes, who DOES watch the latin teachers?

(always thought they were the real suspicious ones...)

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36695648)

...custodiet ipsos custodes?

Well someone is watching as 900 people have been caught and 243 prosecuted. I am a UK Police officer and misuse of the computer systems is a huge no no. Believe it or not corruption is not as widespread as seems to be believed and the systems we use are able to be audited to a scary degree - the anti-corruption units really are hot on this kind of thing and most Officers are well aware of this. There are corrupt officers just as there are bad apples in any organisation of this size but the scrutiny we face is quite incredible.

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696408)

You seem to assume that 900 "officers" (which should by law be called constables (look up the difference)) constitutes the full amount of abuse going on. I would suggest it isn't even close.

You say that the systems you use are audited to a scary level but yet you think the special people (constables) doing the auditing are above misuse themselves. Also you assume that the auditing of the systems is capable of catching all misuse, it is not, and i would argue it is not even close.

If there is a chance of misuse, there will be misuse.

when will people like our police constables understand this simple truth. You would have thought they would be the first to realize it considering the people they deal with on a daily basis, yet most seem completely unwilling to apply this truth to themselves.

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36697644)

You would suggest it isn't close based on what evidence exactly.

You are correct that some misuse will occur but this is the same for any system in any organisation and the risk to Officers if they are caught is loss of job and pension and possible prosecution, a fairly powerful deterrent. The article shows that this is an issue that is taken seriously by the anti-corruption units. There is a balance to be struck between the risk posed by a very small number of corrupt Police and allowing Officers to do there jobs. There are many organisations out there who hold far more detailed information on people than the UK Police and there staff are not vetted or scrutinised in any where near the same way that we are.

By the way Constable is an Office held by a Police Officer in the UK and a legal term designating certain powers upon a person holding that Office (regardless of rank in that context) but refering to a group of Constables as Officers is a well used and commonly accepted practice. To be really accurate the article also refers to Police Staff many of whom have Officer in the job title but do not hold the Office of Constable. Perhaps you would like to check the real world usage of the term?

Re:Quis... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36707096)

Well, assuming that you are a PC, I think you've got adequate grounds for posting AC.

Well someone is watching as 900 people have been caught and 243 prosecuted.

Or, to put it another way, 73% of those caught doing something the seriousness of which you acknowledge, are not prosecuted. That's a barely any better than the clear-up rate for burglaries. This is not terribly impressive.

the systems we use are able to be audited to a scary degree - the anti-corruption units really are hot on this kind of thing

I'm sure they are. That's about 3 "catches" per day, and nearly 1 prosecution per day.

and most Officers are well aware of this.

But nearly a thousand of them have been caught, which suggests that rather more than a thousand have been trying it. SO, either the average officer who tries misusing the database is pretty dumb ; OR they think that the odds of them getting caught are pretty low. (See previous comments re clear-up rate for burglary.)

Same figures, considerably different interpretation.

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696558)

We get it, you know Latin. Thank you for using this thread to show off your ability. You are so awesome for doing so.

Mod parent down.

Re:Quis... (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696774)

... Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

fixed that for you

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696942)

You did notice the title of submission ("Quis...") was terminated by an ellipsis (the 3 dots) that indicate the rest of the quote was in the article?

Moron.

Re:Quis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36718448)

fixed that for you

You fixed nothing. It says 'Quis...' in the title

Re:Quis... (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810202)

*sigh* no you didn't, the "Quis" was in the subject line. Nice try though.

OT abuses in the health care industry (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695342)

Back in college, I had a friend in an undergrad pre-med program who was doing some sort of work in the local hospital. He actually told me, unsolicited, that if I was interested in a girl he'd look her up to see if she had any STDs (I never took him up on the offer). He also wasn't shy about pointing out who had what whenever he spotted people in public. At the time, I just thought it was creepy but I wonder if that was illegal 15 years ago?

Re:OT abuses in the health care industry (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696824)

Back in college, I had a friend in an undergrad pre-med program who was doing some sort of work in the local hospital. He actually told me, unsolicited, that if I was interested in a girl he'd look her up to see if she had any STDs (I never took him up on the offer). He also wasn't shy about pointing out who had what whenever he spotted people in public. At the time, I just thought it was creepy but I wonder if that was illegal 15 years ago?

i would imagine the fact that pretty much everywhere medical files are labelled "Medical in confidence" would suggest that yes it was very much breaking the rules... certainly always has been here in Scotland anyways

Re:OT abuses in the health care industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700176)

Strange, how cattle always wonder about if it is "illegal" and never about if *they* think it's right or wrong.

No, those are not the same, but more and more drift into becoming polar opposites.

Re:OT abuses in the health care industry (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700744)

Strange how ACs always have insults

Re:OT abuses in the health care industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700856)

Best Comment of the day on ANY system!
Cheers!

Gotta log access attempts (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695400)

...and, make sure your employees KNOW that their attempts to access records are logged. Continually cross-reference that info with relevant investigations.

You wouldn't do it yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36695410)

Honestly, I imagine if I had daily access to background checks, it would be too tempting to not run 'em on friends and possible partners.

If you don't want it read don't write it down (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695462)

I keep having this discussion with people again and again.

It does not matter what social, organizational, or legal controls your put in place -
It does not what technical controls, acls, encryption, strong identity validation, etc you put in place -

At some point any information stored will be either abused to facilitate some originally unintended purpose or will be leaked and subsequently abused or published by another party.

-The take home needs to be "think before you store" and we need to tell our politicians that data retention rules need to consider risk of abuse as part of the cost and that as a society we might not want take those risks even if they solve immediate problems today.

Re:If you don't want it read don't write it down (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36696938)

The problem here, though, is that you can't control what OTHER people write down.

Unless your high is of high enough profile to have Nancy Grace talking about it, being accused of a crime is enough to have you convicted or bankrupted in most cases.

Re:If you don't want it read don't write it down (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36698554)

"I keep having this discussion with people again and again".

Perhaps you should write it down?

Attention baying mob: note the convictions (3)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36695680)

The system works. Access is logged and monitored, and the villains do get caught at it. They're not the sharpest truncheons in the box, to be honest.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (3, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36698372)

Most of them are if they have only 243 of the 900.... come back to me when you have that down to zero and I'll go into why this database is ethically wrong.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36713432)

Of course police were caught, plain officers and probably operators too, with some type of read only access to the databases, and zero knowledge of how the system works got caught. Don't you think that sysadmins, network and database admins cannot do the same without being (at least not so easy) detected? i.e. write an undocumented function that "backups" the database to their external HD, and happens to circumvent the logger? And they cannot "forget" to apply the latest patches and then exploit the hole themselves? And what would be the price of i.e. 1 TB of detailed personal data for 50 million people on the black market?...

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (1)

Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36716850)

I'm not worried that I hear reports about police being convicted of corruption. I'll start to worry when I stop hearing about it.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36698180)

My guess is the stupid ones get caught. I bet a lot are getting away with it.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36698918)

Not everyone is that stupid, and the fact is the damage was already done. Who cares if they're "caught"? They were allowed to do it in the first place, which is the problem.

Re:Attention baying mob: note the convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699136)

how do you know, since you don't know the number of un caught people.

reminds me of an old story

A scientist, coder and logician are riding in a train, and they see some black sheep out the window.

The scientists says, hey I didn't know they had black sheep in Idaho

The coder says, correction, we know only that some sheep are black.

The logician says, well, we know that at least one sheep is black on at least one side

Drivers License Data Everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36696668)

That's nothing compared to the abuse of personal records by private corporations in the U.S. Retailers are now scanning drivers license barcodes and selling the data to advertisers, not to mention making it available to employees who just want to steal it.

Re:Drivers License Data Everywhere (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36697310)

I have noticed this. Specifically, Walgreens has started scanning licenses for cigs and beer.

This sounds kinda like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36697490)

As a UK citzen I'd rather focus on this part:

"Furthermore, 243 police officers and staff received criminal convictions for breaking laws set down by the DPA"

To me, this shows that we still have a good system with genuine accountability. 243 is not an insignificant number - I'd probably be more concerned if we knew the data was being collected but we never heard anything about it being misused. That would imply zero transparency, and then your country is really in the shitter.

Re:This sounds kinda like a good thing (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36697678)

Those were the ones who were caught ... how many got clean away with it ?

Pleasing (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36697660)

to see that at least they are actually detecting and disciplining breaches, since I was already assuming the worst.

If they were to have the right security and ethical culture, it's not implausible that they have a high detection rate when running a full access log, hopefully cross-referenced to some sort of case allocation log, in which case 900 out of ~242k [telegraph.co.uk] is less than 0.4% of staff in a 3 year period. On the other hand it is possible the 900 is only from audit sampling, in which case since the sample size is unknown the actual rate can only be anything higher than that.

Incidentally this is bigger news due to it's related nature with the News of the World investigation. Since the recent Slashdot story [slashdot.org] the "news" paper has been shut down [bbc.co.uk] and today there has been arrests of both the editor [guardian.co.uk] and a sub-editor [guardian.co.uk] at the time on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption allegations. The investigation and the story seems to be turning it's attention to allegations of bribes paid to the police for information, having hit what surely is as deep as the depravity goes on the phone hacking (I've said this a few times before and been proven wrong) by discovering targets included the phones of families of victims of the 7/7 London bombing, soldiers killed in Iraq/Afghanistan and murdered children.

Slogan (GMP) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36697670)

Every time I see a cop car in the UK, I see: "protecting crime, fighting people" on the side of the car. (You can guess what it actually reads)

sunglasses store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701746)

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