Law Enforcement Just Can't Let Go Of Their Big Database Obsession
from the more-data,-more-data,-more-data dept
There are some obvious benefits for law enforcement agents to have such information at their fingertips. After all, some people believe it was a lack of critical data sharing that made law enforcement miss some important connections that might have tipped them off to what the 9/11 hijackers were up to. However, centralized database systems like this also open up a ton of potential problems as well. There are always questions about how accurate the data is, for example. Remember the guy who was arrested due to a database error? Then, of course, there are all the issues that come about from opening up this data to more people. Even if the people who are supposed to access it are in law enforcement, that's no guarantee it won't be misused. Remember the cop who used a law enforcement database to spy on his ex-wives? And the MATRIX system we discussed above was brought down in part due to a bunch of crooks hacking into the system, which doesn't inspire much confidence. In the meantime, of course, law enforcement officials are spending more time (and taxpayer money) using private databases rather than the ones they built themselves, not that they have any better quality control or security.