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    More Officials Abusing Access to Government Databases

    On the heels of the Massachusetts state auditor’s report that law enforcement officials in the state were misusing the criminal records system, here are two more stories about officials abusing their access privileges.

    The Scotsman reports that a police officer in Edinburgh, Scotland, “has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing information about dozens of people on the Lothian and Borders police computers. […] Constable Wong was accused of using the Scottish Intelligence Database and the Lothian and Borders Operational Support System to obtain personal details of Chinese people living in Scotland for over 15 months.”

    The Ottawa Citizen reports:

    An Ottawa police officer must forfeit the equivalent of $6,000 in pay for unauthorized prying into police computer files to vet names of would-be tenants for a landlord friend.

    Const. Vince Arlotta, who previously had a spotless performance record, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of insubordination, contrary to a section of the Ontario Police Services Act. The offences are not criminal.

    The practice is forbidden for numerous reasons, including violation of privacy and other individual rights and fears that sensitive police and other information could fall into criminal hands.

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