The British civil liberties and privacy pressure group, Big Brother Watch, has published the report according to which British police treat personal data with disrespect. More than 2000 cases have been disclosed for 4 years when law enforcement officials have exercised powers inappropriately. Oftentimes they called for the data for getting financial gains or taking pleasure.
The data of the report covered 138 pages was received thanks to the Freedom of Information Act that allows to direct inquiries to security officials for making information public.
It is stated that policemen not only asked for private information, but also shared with anybody else. On the whole, 877 incidents were placed on record. In one case, the policeman tried to take a photo of victim’s driving license as in his opinion the name was so funny. In other case, the policeman from Greater Manchester warned the criminal in advance police were after him to arrest. Moreover, there was a situation when police officers checked their girlfriends’ background.
Totally there were 2315 data leaks. In spite of the fact that there were extraordinary case, 1283 of which were subjected to disciplinary measures. Only in 297 cases law enforcement officials were undergone punishment and dismissed. Besides, there were opened criminal cases against 70 incidents.
The report was a specific response for soon-to-be-issued Draft Communications Data Bill that should increase possibilities for surveilling. The representatives of Big Brother Watch stated:
“Nowadays there is no obligation for storing data like this in any European country. There is no evidence that Great Britain is a special case for doing it. The government reacts for system implementation positively. But they won’t be the first. The similar system was designed and built in Denmark in 2007. But it didn’t bring any benefits”.