Tuesday, 11 March 2008

"Where did I put that file?"

As the Police and Government make plans for increasing the amount of personal information about members of the public held on file, a disclosure of a Freedom of Information Act request from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary shows how negligent staff members can be in keeping personal information secure.

If plans are implemented to collect the personal details of all passengers’ taking the train, bus, ferry or plane, whether for domestic or international travel, the size of this information database will increase considerably. Moreover if the Westminster Government gives way to the Association of Police Chief Officers calls to expand the already extensive DNA database to cover all members of the public, then it won’t be long before the police and Government will be able to build up “a complete picture of our lives” and activities.

Regardless of what the moral and civil implications of this all evasive ‘Big Brotherness’ are, questions must be asked about the competency of the police - and Devon and Cornwall police in particular - to store such information.

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