Feb 212013
 February 21, 2013  Breaches, Govt

Eric Roper reports:

Eighty-eight law enforcement personnel misused their access to driver’s license records in the last fiscal year, state auditors said Wednesday in a wide-ranging report pushing for better oversight of the database.

The review by the state’s legislative auditor — highly anticipated by legislators and privacy advocates — said officers need better training in allowed uses of the protected data, and local and state agencies should do more to monitor use. Beyond 88 incidents of misuse documented in state records last year, auditors found even more suspicious activity buried in audit trails.

Read more on Star Tribune.  Here’s the jaw-dropper for me:

“I commit to strengthening our efforts in increased oversight and user training,” said public safety commissioner Mona Dohman. “It is important I think, however, for us to recognize that no amount of oversight or training … is a substitute for an individual honoring his or her professional and ethical obligation as an officer of the law.”

Now what was it Reagan said about “trust, but verify?”

Yes, training is important, but dammit, if you don’t put better access controls in place to prevent problems, the rampant problems will continue. And when you do find abuse, fire the abuser – even if they were just “snooping” in a relative’s file – and publicize it widely that they got fired. Hell, even prosecute one or two abusers criminally. Do something that is likely to have more of a deterrent effect.

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