Police Look Up Woman’s License 425 Times

We should never forget that a large number of data/privacy breeches start from within a bureaucracy/organization. When an audit was performed on the drivers license database in Minnesota, auditors found that a staggering number of officers had ‘checked up’ on a woman’s profile. From the article on this:

The numbers were astounding: One hundred and four officers in 18 different agencies from around the state had accessed her driver’s license record 425 times in what could be one of the largest private data breaches by law enforcement in history.

The Department of Public Safety sent letters to all 18 agencies demanding an Internal Affairs investigation of the 104 officers. If the cops are found to be in violation of federal privacy law, they could be fired.

It isn’t enough to assume that the police are all knights in shining armour, incapable of doing wrong. No: they’re people, with all the expected foibles and failings. Give them information and powers and they will abuse them. The only questions are when and with what consequence.