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Top court to weigh privacy against government data needs (A lot of what's in the databases is wrong)

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:10 AM
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Top court to weigh privacy against government data needs (A lot of what's in the databases is wrong)
Top court to weigh privacy against government data needs

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated communications technology and ever-expanding interconnected data bases, even small-town police can run detailed background checks to discover criminals during routine traffic stops.

From their squad cars, officers can tap a network of government and private databases and in a matter of minutes retrieve a wealth of personal data well beyond name, address and driver status -- including Social Security numbers, telephone numbers, past arrests, employment eligibility, immigration status, photos, fingerprints, tattoos, medical conditions and more.

But there's a big problem with this instant access to information: A lot of what's in the databases is wrong, says Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The FBI's parent organization, the Justice Department, has cautioned that some of the data that the National Crime Information Center holds is incomplete and inaccurate enough to cause users "to make an incorrect or misguided decision," including unjustified arrests, Rotenberg wrote in the brief filed with the Supreme Court on Jan. 19.


http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=47377&o...
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