Jan 022011
 
 January 2, 2011  Non-U.S., Surveillance

Millions of innocent people who have reported a crime have their details stored on police databases, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The Press Association study found forces in England and Wales have kept data on people who called them.

Senior officers said gathering data was necessary to fight crime, protect the vulnerable and ensure concerns were dealt with properly.

But privacy campaigners including Big Brother Watch expressed their concerns.

Read more on BBC.

Storing emergency calls is warranted, I think, but perhaps there needs to be a timeframe after which they are deleted. There’s certainly no justification I can see for storing them for years and years.

The same is true for those who are not reporting emergencies but are calling in crime tips, but those calls should probably be stored for even shorter periods. If the police wish to encourage active citizen participation, they should not be dissuading participation by making people worry that their details and contact will be stored forever.

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.

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