Karen Kleiss reports:
The Alberta government is quietly building a $65-million police information database that will allow officers across the province to share details about proven and suspected criminal activity in real time.
The Alberta Law Officers’ Network, or Talon, is meant to help police catch increasingly sophisticated criminals, but civil liberties groups and academics worry it unnecessarily invades citizens’ privacy and will be open to abuse.
Talon will allow them to quickly access information about a person of interest, just as the Canadian Police Information Centre does, though the databases contain different kinds of information.
CPIC contains details about pending charges and a permanent record of convictions, as well as information about recent acquittals and discharges.
Talon contains much more sensitive and personal information, including speculations, unproven allegations, investigation theories, details of 911 calls — virtually any record of a citizen’s contacts with the police.
Police services in Alberta already collect this information and share it thorough traditional channels, but Talon gives them instantaneous, real-time access to information from Lethbridge to High Level, Jasper to Lloydminster.
Unlike CPIC, officers will not have to provide a reason for accessing the information.
Read more on Edmonton Journal.