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No Right Turn: If police think this is lawful and ethical, why did they try to hide it?

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 1st, 2020 - 42 comments
Categories: police - Tags: , , ,

Idiot/Savant at No Right turn writes:

RNZ has a major scoop this morning: the New Zealand Police are trying to set up a live facial recognition system:

Police have been quietly setting up a $9 million facial recognition system that can take a live feed from CCTV cameras and identify people from it.This would push New Zealand into new territory for tracking citizens.

It will be run by a non-police contractor – US firm Dataworks Plus – and collect 15,000 facial images a year, with that expected to expand up to 10-fold.

[…]

Both said they did not tell the public as these are mere upgrades, and neither did a Privacy Impact Assessment – though Internal Affairs told the Privacy Commissioner about NeoFace, while the police did not.

That last bit is a giant red flag. The Privacy Commisisoner has said explicitly that any use of facial recognition needs a high level of scrutiny, which for a government agency, effectively means their approval. Police deliberately avoided doing that. From the article, they also explicitly lied in earlier OIA responses, saying that the system was only about analysing static images in their database, while redacting information showing that it was intended to work with live video feeds. Why did they do this? The natural conclusion is that despite all their claims to be lawful and ethical, they know that this project is not. So instead they spent $9 million of public money on it, in secret, while lying to us about what they were doing. And that shows us that we have an unethical agency, completely out of control, which has complete contempt for the people it is supposed to serve.Unmentioned in the article: this sort of use of facial recognition has recently been ruled unlawful in the UK, precisely because the police force using it ignored their privacy obligations and their obligations to not discriminate on the basis of race. And on this point, the New Zealand Police appear to be making exactly the same mistake:

The tender that Dataworks won for police here, does not mention “Māori” or “public” or “privacy” – in relation to specific safeguards on the public’s privacy – a single time in scores of pages.

Which I guess is the usual level of care the police show for their legal obligations. As far as they’re concerned, laws apply to other people, not to them.

42 comments on “No Right Turn: If police think this is lawful and ethical, why did they try to hide it? ”

  1. Sabine 1

    The Police did all of this on their own? Really?

    First question should be

    'who hired Dataworks

    followed by

    how much are we paying Dataworks

    followed by

    who authorized the payment

    and above all which minister is responsible for the Police?

    not quite as sexy as putting hte blame on the feet of "The Police" considering that 'the police' are public servants (supposedly in the best of all cases) and have ministerial oversight. Unless oversight is so yesterday.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I suspect that the line item read Upgrade to existing software or similar. The reason being because it wouldn't require specific authorisation as it would simply be included in the daily running expenses.

      As I/S said, we have proof that the police have been acting unethically here and heads should roll.

    • weka 1.2

      there's an at distance relationship between the police and government (for obvious reasons). I'm hoping someone here will comment on depth on this and what are the appropriate controls from govt. Haven't had time to look at this in depth, but there was this from Little May,

      Minister of Justice Andrew Little says police failed to get any of the necessary clearance before trialling controversial facial recognition software.

      It follows RNZ revelations that police tested American company Clearview AI's programme without consulting their own bosses or the Privacy Commissioner.

      "I don't know how it came to be that a person thought that this was a good idea," Little said.

      "It clearly wasn't endorsed, from the senior police hierarchy, and it clearly didn't get the endorsement from the [Police] Minister nor indeed from the wider cabinet … that is a matter of concern."

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/416580/police-trial-of-facial-recognition-technology-a-matter-of-concern-andrew-little

  2. greywarshark 2

    edit
    How things appear to me concerning police methods and zeitgeist. The Police Force appears to have decided to go hard line on citizens who are thought to be 'risks'. They are followers of methods from other 5-Eyes countries and so we get dragged into the dirty wash of those countries, instead of trying our own methods using our brains, understanding of our problems, and the need to keep control of our Police Force direction so it does not become interchangeable with private security firms offerings.

    They are perhaps acting after heightened sensitivity from the disaster of the mosque shooting. If the police had been running solid control on guns and gun ownership, and keeping abreast of who were in gun clubs as regulars and invitees, the Australian would have been noticed. Whether he would have been stopped I don't know. It isn't guns that shoot people, it's people, may be their motto from now on as protests grow and conditions worsen which inflames resentment as people know that matters could be improved if financial instruments available were utilised to fund requirements if the PTB so wished.

    The police in Christchurch cornered an ex Russian soldier who had previously given them trouble, and who had a lot of guns, and they isolated him after one instance until he shot himself. They refused to allow his wife and child to speak to him before he killed himself. So they can go hard against gun owners when they choose. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/111596809/exrussian-soldier-dies-of-suspected-suicide-after-police-standoff-in-christchurch

    Now they are going hard on speeding – no discretionary allowance on the upside of thelimit.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/122616782/zerotolerance-speed-regime-a-hard-sell
    …The police website has updated its advice on speed enforcement and is defending its new posture by highlighting a 2004 report from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yes, a report from 16 years ago! As is spelt out on the police website, the WHO review of speed studies in various countries showed that a decrease of 1km/h in mean traffic speed typically resulted in a 3 per cent decrease in the incidence of injury crashes, or a decrease of 4-5 per cent for fatal crashes.

    (That's applying one general survey to define the reality of particular laws in a particular place. But it gives police a lot of power to make ordinary citizens life hard, and approaches the problem punitively rather than educationally – that seems to be by-passed these days.)

    And are instant fines used as a money earner! What body gets them – government revenue and/or police? Neolib looks to turn all our government services into at least user pays, and better, a profitable enterprise. Does the Police Force keep part or all of the speeding fines to fund its work and is that a major reason for them? This would mean there is no real incentive to re-educate bad drivers and improve driving behaviour. This money-gathering approach is similar to citizen education being partially funded by overseas students paying for their education here.

    Speeding fines: New Zealand's multimillion-dollar camera earners revealed https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12310345 Feb/20 The fixed speed camera, placed on Tāmaki Dr between Solent St and Ngapipi Rd, pulled in $5.3m in 2019 from 60,141 fines.

    • RedBaronCV 2.1

      Pack of little authoritarians. Don't agree with the facial recognition and said so yesterday.

      But the speeding stuff is authoritarian too- the community is reeling under the financial stresses and insecurities of covid – so they decide to heap more financial grief on their head by upping the enforcement of speeding fines to a level never used before. And without a campaign to notify the public first.

      Also speedo's tend to read not spot on so a small tolerance removes that risk.

      There seems to be an element there that does what it likes without consequence or control from anyone.

  3. Maurice 3

    Don't worry …. It is only Gun Nutters, Boy Racers and right-wing extremist white supremacists being targeted.

    … Good solid left-wing people are safe in the all embracing arms of Cindy!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Don't really have a problem with it myself. Same as I don't have a problem with cameras being everywhere public nor of the data collection. I see it as a tool that can be used to solve crime and to help people.

    The concerns I have is with access to that data. That needs to be seriously curtailed with access to it only after a court warrant is explicitly issued. What I mean by that is that no one should be able to access the data without a court order being in existence and they won't be able to access any data outside of the times and places listed upon the court order.

    • RedBaronCV 4.1

      Okay – you are happy to collect but with access strictly controlled. Until the next right wing government decides to do away with the access control? I'm not happy with that level of trust – the cops really used those police production orders well didn't they – when they should have used warrants.

      But the wider issue is that this is mass surveillance of the whole community going about it's lawful business in a public place. So what crime will it stop – well not white collar crime, drug deals, money laundering, drug importing, domestic violence, burglary, assaults on wait staff in high end restaurants and cafes by the well heeled etc etc. What it will pick up are a few public disturbances fuelled by alcohol probably by the lower paid and some out of date rego's and a few low level drug deals which very soon may not even be criminal. I see no justification in any of our crimes stats for this level of surveillance or expenditure to back it up but I do see a skew towards some groups being overpoliced.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        But the wider issue is that this is mass surveillance of the whole community going about it's lawful business in a public place.

        Yes, in a public place meaning that it is public information. Public information is, by definition, public and not secret. If you're doing something that you don't want publicly known then don't do it in a public space.

        So what crime will it stop

        It is pretty close to impossible to stop a crime which is why I didn't say that. No amount of making murder illegal has ever stopped murders.

        But having information available has certainly helped the murderers be apprehended.

        What it will pick up are a few public disturbances fuelled by alcohol probably by the lower paid and some out of date rego's and a few low level drug deals which very soon may not even be criminal.

        Police use public information to help catch criminals all the time. Requests for sightings of vehicles and people come across the news channels quite frequently. A camera network is the same thing but no longer reliant upon unreliable human memory.

        Okay – you are happy to collect but with access strictly controlled. Until the next right wing government decides to do away with the access control?

        Yes, I'm worried about access and how right-wing governments tend to do things that are bad for the majority of people but good for their funders is one of those concerns. Its one of the reasons why I think a written constitution (this view has changed over time) that holds the government to laws and principles higher than itself may be needed.

        • Incognito 4.1.1.1

          Just as with Covid, you cannot and must not rely on one single tool in isolation to protect personal privacy and human rights, for example. A written Constitution only takes you so far. In addition, you’d need a functioning Opposition, a functioning Fourth Estate, a functioning Citizenry, and plenty of tools and means for the people to speak up, take action, and exercise their democratic rights (e.g. freedom of speech and congregation). All these need to work well and together (integrated) to achieve the best outcomes for the people. Democracy is holistic.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Just as with Covid, you cannot and must not rely on one single tool in isolation to protect personal privacy and human rights, for example.

            Agreed. That's why I said processes, plural.

            A written Constitution only takes you so far.

            And written constitutions can be abused if they're written poorly as we've seen in the USA.

            In addition, you’d need a functioning Opposition, a functioning Fourth Estate, a functioning Citizenry, and plenty of tools and means for the people to speak up, take action, and exercise their democratic rights

            As we've seen an opposition can be corrupt and self-serving and the MSM biased in favour of one side (usually the self-serving side). What sort of processes can we implement to ensure that such does not happen?

            Same with citizenry, how do we get people to meaningfully engage with the political process?

            All these need to work well and together (integrated) to achieve the best outcomes for the people. Democracy is holistic.

            Agreed but it still comes down to processes and the problem that we have at the moment is that our democratic processes aren't fit for purpose because they don't have what's needed to make it truly holistic.

            • Incognito 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed and good questions. I cannot see any meaningful change in the foreseeable future and we have to do the best we can under the circumstances. Sorry for the short answer but with something as complex and multi-factorial as democracy it takes a multi-pronged approach. Maybe a slow evolution in which various options are tried and rejected – it might not feel like we’re progressing and possibly even regressing – until we reach a point, serendipitously or coincidentally, where things seem to ‘fit’ together in a cohesive (stable) way and something novel can emerge. This could be called a paradigm shift or a revolution – the system’s intrinsic stability will resist radical changes by design. The point is that we don’t really know what the novel system would look like. If we did, we would already be doing or implementing it. Like biological evolution, nobody seems to fully understand how it works although we have an inkling, or at least we think we do 😉

        • RedBaronCV 4.1.1.2

          Yeah Nah I'll agree to disagree.

          Yes it is in a public place but if I watched the same scene I do not have access to databases supplied by the public for other purposes to compare the images with, identify people and nor can I go out and arrest them or question them. It is surveillance and storage of all of us with the ability to detect on a mass scale who these people are without human intervention. That argument is a variation of the why do you care if you have nothing to hide. Some things are still private. People still do semi private things in public places , go for medical treatment , visit a political party headquarters, go see a lawyer. Imagine if the camera's are used to track journalists meeting sources – like they tried to track Nicky Hager.

          Yes the police appeal for public help but unless we cover every inch of the country with these cameras that will still happen. Shaded car windows will prevent some people being identified but maybe not the car so back to zero.

          And on a strictly cost benefit analysis – yes it may add a little to the information available on a few crimes but most of these will not be major incidents and frankly I can't see going down that track stacking up in any meaningful way dollar or time wise.

          I'd just ban facial recognition.
          I’d also need a lot of convincing that it wouldn’t overpolice some classes of minor offending.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1

            Yes it is in a public place but if I watched the same scene I do not have access to databases supplied by the public for other purposes to compare the images with, identify people and nor can I go out and arrest them or question them.

            This may come as a surprise but that's actually a meaningless distinction as you can certainly help those with such powers (or more likely, hinder).

            That argument is a variation of the why do you care if you have nothing to hide.

            No, really, its not.

            1. Its a public space and thus public information
            2. Processes need to be put in place to ensure that its not abused as you suggest

            Shaded car windows will prevent some people being identified but maybe not the car so back to zero.

            You didn't read the article on the unreliability of human memory did you?

            Here's another one:

            Nothing brings this home better than the memories of witnesses in trials, one of the cornerstones of our legal system. All too many people have been put behind bars on the testimony of witnesses, who when challenged by more objective data have been later proved to be misremembering.

            Dunno about you but I certainly don't want to go behind bars because of human error.

            And on a strictly cost benefit analysis – yes it may add a little to the information available on a few crimes but most of these will not be major incidents and frankly I can't see going down that track stacking up in any meaningful way dollar or time wise.

            1. Cameras and memory are cheap.
            2. It's not just crime that it applies to. Think of traffic planning as well.
            3. It won't be people looking at the images but the computers – which are also cheap and we seem to have a lot of power coming available shortly

            I’d also need a lot of convincing that it wouldn’t overpolice some classes of minor offending.

            That already happens. Adding computers to it should actually balance things out – as long as the algorithms are good:

            To get exam results, the regulators used an algorithm that combined grades given by teachers with a student’s past performance and the past performance of their school as a whole.

            In many cases, as many as 40 percent of the total, the qualifications authorities marked students down, below the grades recommended by teachers.

            Take from the poor, give to the rich

            There was one huge problem with the exercise. It was skewed towards giving students from the ‘better’ schools a shift up and those from the underperforming [sic] schools a penalty.

            Adding the use of computers isn't bad by default as you make out but, as I said, to make something like this work we need good processes to ensure that access to the data/information is properly restricted and prevents abuse and that the algorithms aren't biased.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Upon reflection, the thing about facial recognition is that it requires the identified suspect to go to extreme lengths to prove their innocence and explain why the ID was incorrect. It immediately primes investigators that person X is the person on the video. It's easier to explain how Derek is mistaken than for a "usual suspect" and their legal aid lawyer to demonstrate that the lighting and condensation made the computer think it was Jim rather than some other dude.

              The defense has the footage, but not the algorithm by which the recognition program made the selection.

              And a basic knowledge of issues around facial recognition would include the difficulties many systems have distinguishing between people of colour. They work great with white people, so the false positives will be way lower for Pakeha than Māori. That right there is a problem.

              And that's if the role of the recognition systems don't expand just as sneakily as they were introduced.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The defense has the footage, but not the algorithm by which the recognition program made the selection.

                Hypothetically, the defense would have the algorithm and the research on it.

                As a world first NZ has the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand. So, its even hypothetically possible that face recognition may be up to standard for all shades of people before it gets implemented.

                And that's if the role of the recognition systems don't expand just as sneakily as they were introduced.

                Again, that means putting in place the processes that prevent it happening or stopping it before it goes too far. Which, when you think about it, is what happened and we know about it because those processes worked.

                • McFlock

                  The charter that the cops seem to have sidestepped?

                  It's all very well pretending that imaginary policies will be impregnable against abuse by the state even under a government led by someone like Judith Collins, but the technology is being implemented without those safeguards right now.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The cops tried to side step. I suspect that now that the product is in the open, caught by those not impregnable policies, such things will be put through the charter.

                    I don't think that they'll be impregnable but I do think that it is better to have them in place rather than not and to have the benefits that come from the advancements that they're there to prevent abuse of.

            • RedBaronCV 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Citizens going about their private business ( presumably lawful) in a public place really don't need to be spied upon by facial recognition surveillance. Attending say a union meeting. or think China surveilance of some of it's populations.

              I really wasn't discussing traffic flow cams as such just facial passenger recognition attached to them. – any side benefits of information to solve the odd crime sounds like the sort of overblown excuse used by those who want to put it in. The benefits would have to be huge to justify the cost – so that infers large parts of the population are going about criminal offences on a day to day basis. At which point camera's would be moot – self defeating argument if every second person walking past is a crook on a mission.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Generally speaking, it would still be just as private. After all, no one would be looking at it or running facial recognition on it unless a crime had been committed in that area.

                • McFlock

                  Dude, I used to monitor cameras for a living, including in public areas. It happens a lot as a matter of routine.

                  Now patch in someone vaguely curious about a "suspicious person". At the moment that slightly bored operator can follow the person on camera for a bit, but we all know this shit creeps. Soon, maybe, that bored operator will have a "submit to FR" option.

                  Now imagine that the "suspicious person" has just hugged the operator's ex-wife, and all the fun that can lead to.

                  Now let's imagine how many people would not be identified if facial recognition is not an option. The cops currently put the picture in the paper, people see it, an arsehole in one place has usually pissed off other people who know his name.

                  So what we're missing is a demonstrable need for a technology that still has significant shortcomings and is being implemented by an organisation that has a history of sneakily expanding the use of technologies bought for one narrow purpose.

                  But you thing policiy and processes could hypothetically be put in place to prevent abuse. /sarc

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And my point is that the cameras wouldn't be controlled by people. That the coverage would only become available for investigation of a crime.

                    Which makes your suppositions wrong.

                    Yes, the processes that we have now, what caught this abuse by the police, works.

                    • McFlock

                      And my point is that the cameras wouldn't be controlled by people. That the coverage would only become available for investigation of a crime.

                      that's sweet, but it doesn't seem to reflect the NZ reality. I'll italicise and colour the relevant bits:

                      Auckland authorities have been working quietly for months to unify the city's CCTV systems, boost camera numbers from about 5000 to more than 6000 – with an upper cap set by technology for 8000 – and let police access more of the live camera feeds.

                      The new cameras are capable of facial recognition but Auckland Transport (AT) said this function was not used.

                      However, police are interested in it.

                      "Police does not currently have the ability to run facial recognition off live CCTV cameras," a police spokesperson said in a statement.

                      "However, we would always be open to using new and developing technologies in the future, balanced against relevant legislation."

                      So the cops who want this technology are and will continue to pressure-test the legislative (not just procedural) constraints, the infrastructure is being put in place to do so simply with the expansion of current software licensing agreements.

                      Now, we can lobby for and hope your idealised procedures and processes are put in place and maintained regardless of the government du jour, or we can lobby for and hope that the currently-governing parties roll back the cops' plans.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      per McFlock – 6000 cameras they must be literally everywhere – that must be costing an absolute packet they are not cheap – glad I'm not an Auckland ratepayer.

                      I can understand static traffic flow cameras on the main flows so if we have say 200 motorway ramps plus other main arteries I could see tops maybe a 1000 needed so what exactly are the other 5000 being used for.

                      That is one camera for every 250 people in Auckland.

                      How are they distributed, emphasis on poorer suburbs perhaps, and just what is the massive harm are they supposed to be guarding against? It must be intense and very expensive potential harm to surveil people at that level and on that basis. I don't see that saving a few landlords from a bit of graffiti justifies ratepayers or taxpayers shelling out like this to cover their private interests.

                      This is a system that doesn't have mission creep it's got mission gallop based on snooping and a complete disregard for civil liberties not on any balance of community benefit. Time to ban facial recognition

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now, we can lobby for and hope your idealised procedures and processes are put in place and maintained regardless of the government du jour, or we can lobby for and hope that the currently-governing parties roll back the cops' plans.

                      /facepalm

                      The tech is in place now so we better make sure that the processes, even the un-idealised ones that are in place and which have proven to work, are in place.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                      Yeah, your one. Which looks like a plan F to me. You'll continue bloody squawking and nothing will happen.

                      6000 cameras they must be literally everywhere – that must be costing an absolute packet they are not cheap

                      • That's less than 1/km.
                      • Cameras are cheap. I just bought a phone with five on it, three of which are 16 mega-pixel, for less than $200.

                      How are they distributed, emphasis on poorer suburbs perhaps, and just what is the massive harm are they supposed to be guarding against?

                      Your speculation is stupid as per all you other lack of arguments.

                      And, as I said, nothing can prevent harm but the culprits can be caught after if there's information available which the cameras provide.

                      This is a system that doesn't have mission creep it's got mission gallop based on snooping and a complete disregard for civil liberties not on any balance of community benefit. Time to ban facial recognition

                      Your last statement there is, unsurprisingly, a non sequitur.

                      And the mission gallop that you mention has just been brought to a halt by the very systems that I say need to be in place and improved upon.

                      And, yes, there's also other benefits.

                      • Traffic planning
                      • Disaster relief
                      • Keeping an eye on protests (crime does happen in these things whether we like it or not)
                      • Keeping an eye on police at protests (because they can't be trusted)

                      And, if I had my way, none of it will be available without the necessary clearance and ability to backtrack on who saw it.

                    • McFlock

                      The tech is in place now so we better make sure that the processes, even the un-idealised ones that are in place and which have proven to work, are in place.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                      Yeah, your one. Which looks like a plan F to me. You'll continue bloody squawking and nothing will happen.

                      Not all the tech is in place now. And things like live feed to the cops can be rolled-back, including in hardware. Pull a plug. None of your "benefits" require live feed to a police incident room, let alone facial recognition. Separation of roles is good.

                      The main process we should follow is to not give cops everything they want, only what they can clearly demonstrate they really need. Not toys they even admit to wanting to expand to the absolute limit, especially when those toys have a history of being most accurate only for the most privileged.

                      I'd much prefer squawking ineffectually than cheerleading trial by algorithm.

    • weka 4.2

      The previous National govt were already, actively making changes to privacy in NZ, and were planning to reform our Privacy legislation. You might not have noticed because most of that was aimed at beneficiaries and poor people.

      Please tell me how a left wing govt could tory proof the tech (assuming they wanted to). Saying 'should' doesn't count.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        You might not have noticed because most of that was aimed at beneficiaries and poor people.

        Assumptions are really bad.

        Please tell me how a left wing govt could tory proof the tech (assuming they wanted to).

        Its not about Tory proofing the tech but about putting in place processes will tend to prevent abuse of the system and make it possible to catch those who do abuse it.

        Also, as I don't want to take up too much space, read my reply to RedBaronCV.

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          We already know that processes can't be tory-proofed. The US is a good example of where a constitution can easily fail.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            We already know that processes can't be tory-proofed.

            But we should still try. Not trying and thus leaving things as they are simply leaves things in favour of those who already abuse the systems.

            The US is a good example of where a constitution can easily fail.

            The US is a good example of a constitution done badly. This does not mean that a constitution cannot be done well. Its a question of how do we do one well that manages to prevent the abuse inherent in the US Constitution.

  5. Sacha 5

    they also explicitly lied in earlier OIA responses, saying that the system was only about analysing static images in their database, while redacting information showing that it was intended to work with live video feeds.

    That section jumped out at me. Conniving bastards.

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Very good point and if they lie about that then what else have they lied about. maybe we need the police to test these camera's internally first to catch the ones not bothering to follow the rules.

      Or won't facial recognition be used on these sorts of crimes because the perpetrators don't fit the obvious profiles.

    • gsays 5.2

      That goes to the crux of the issue, the diminishing trust in the police.

      I am not aware of any pursuit were the pursuers or the comms controller faced charges, especially where the chase ended in a death.

      The lack of consultation and poor reporting of their recent armed police trials.

      "Of the 2141 events responded to in the first five weeks of the trial, 647 were for vehicle stops."

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12335829

      Nicky Hager had serious issues with the police. Issues they apologised for and paid a substantial amount of our money to settle, and yet none faced charges.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104638742/police-apologise-to-nicky-hager-over-dirty-politics-raid-as-part-of-settlement?rm=a

      Its a cultural lack of accountability.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Nicky Hager had serious issues with the police. Issues they apologised for and paid a substantial amount of our money to settle, and yet none faced charges.

        Of course they didn't face charges. It was the bosses who ordered the constables to raid his home. What sticks in my throat is that these right wing, red necked thugs (because that is what some of them are) never face punishment and are allowed to continue in their positions of power.

        It would be interesting to know how many former cops were forced to leave the force due to bullying by their superiors.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I have some reservations about the tech – but I can think of a few occasions when it might have resolved cases that became fraught for want of evidence, or poor discipline in gathering evidence.

    I am in fact happier with the police tracking my whereabouts than some of the large corporates who are doing so already. Just so long as it is used to clear suspects as readily as it is to impugn them. That might conceivably require access to camera network data for defense teams.

    The potential for abuse is troubling however. It is not unheard of for staff to use such resources for their own ends, or to share resources, perhaps with private security, who are less responsible to the public interest.

    • RedBaronCV 6.1

      I'd forgotten about those outsourced contracts. And I don't really think that a few resolutions justify the wholesale surveillance – some crime does go undetected, unsolved or unnoticed anyway.

      And the lack of accountability – somewhere a while back I saw a police morale survey story. IIRC morale wasn't good and that can be a sign of disconnect within the organisation. Decent cops feel threatened and pushed sideways because there is a wild west culture operating in parts of the organisation that doesn't get challenged. So where is our new commissionar of police on this – hiding?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Yep, this is something that definitely should not have been contracted out to a private firm. The data is far too sensitive to allow access through the typical lackadaisical security of the private sector.

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