Bad cop worse cop

Online policing isn’t working

Let’s be clear on this point: there are some very good police out there doing a fine job. Now let’s be real. Police are people, just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us there are those that make some really, really horrendous judgment calls. Like say, “accessing” personal information of citizens who are of no interest to the judicial system out of “curiosity”. We’re not making this up, some of you may have seen the article on this posted on our facebook page via the Guardian recently. Just in case you haven’t or you couldn’t believe your eyes the first time around, here it is.

So, what’s the point? The point is that information, data, records are not just wrestled away from their rightful owners for money. Sometimes, it’s not business, it’s personal. And personally, we don’t care why someone wants someone else’s personal data, they should not be able to access it without consent. Let’s think about these members of the police force who helped themselves to the private info of Ms Average. They didn’t do it for money, for a promotion or as part of an elaborate scheme to corner a criminal. They did it because they could. In some cases, these things are done as shortcuts, a means to an end but it’s not legal and it’s not right. On top of that, the people who committed these um… infractions weren’t even, so far as we could tell, sophisticated hackers.

The problem is that if a backdoor is left open, eventually, someone is going to walk in through it. Their intentions may be good, they may be bad, they may be ridiculous. But if people with badges who are sworn to uphold the law are doing it, how much more so are actual criminals, marketeers and corporations intent on making money from your data, going to trample your rights and the law.

Talk to us about keeping your stories, passwords and info to yourself.