Cops Use Database To Follow Reporter Critical Of Photo Cameras

from the misuses-indeed dept

There's been plenty of talk about all of the various databases that the government wants to build, tying together all kinds of information to better determine what your terrorist quotient might be. Obviously, the idea of being able to better link up information to set off alerts is intriguing, but the big downside is that such databases are often open to serious misuse by those who have access to them. That seems to be exactly what happened up in Canada, where a police officer who was unhappy with a columnist criticizing a speed camera plan, looked up that columnists information, and basically told a bunch of traffic cops to look for his car and to try to bust him on a drunk driving ticket after they saw him at a bar. Having the police specifically target someone they don't like, using a database to get that info is exactly the problem people are worried about.

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  • identicon
    g0es, 21 Sep 2005 @ 1:06pm

    Police having access to this data..

    is nothing new. In the US police have always been able to look up what a person drives and what their plate number is. Power corrupts. Some people join the police force for the wrong reasons. These people will always cause problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Travis Owens, 21 Sep 2005 @ 3:35pm

    Make an example of the cop

    I'm a full supporter of roadside cameras but I do realize they are a duble edge sword.
    I think the Canadian government should take this abuse of the people seriously and this cop should be fired.
    The government should be more concerned about making sure such a powerfull system is not abused. This is no different than a person working for a tax company looking up friends & family's info, companies keep records of lookups and fire employees who abuse the system.
    Can the Canadian government hold itself up to the same standards unregulated business does? Or will the Canadian government embrace abuse and corruption?
    I would love to hear a follow-up to this story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mousky, 21 Sep 2005 @ 5:36pm

      Re: Make an example of the cop

      Here is a link to a very informative article about the truth behind red-light cameras: Inside the District's Red Lights

      Here is another informative link about photo radar: Edmonton Photo Radar

      Most photo radar installations have very little to do with safety and everything to do with generating revenue. Governments have done everything in their power to make it as easy as possible to issue tickets and for them to receive the fine. Receiving a notice by mail is the same as being served in person - it has been a fundamental aspect of law that people are to be served in person. They ask on your infraction if you will challenge the evidence of the issuing officer - essentially asking you to reveal part of your case. They eliminate the earning of demerit points. I thought photo radar was used to promote safety - eliminating demerits points seems counter-intuitive to that. The tickets are issued to the vehicle owner, not the driver. What happens if more than one person owns the vehicle? My wife and I have our vehicles registered in both our names. How can the court find both of us guilty when only one person can drive a vehicle?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pete Austin, 22 Sep 2005 @ 5:26am

    Kerry Diotte

    Judging by his writing, Kerry Diotte is a good journalist, but arrogant and opinionated.

    I was amused by: "We have so many freedoms in Canada we often take them for granted. But is it possible our laws can be too protective of individual privacy? .. Sometimes, common sense dictates privacy rules can't be so strict they undermine the greater good of society"
    Too much privacy? by Kerry Diotte

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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