'The Risk of Being Un-Informed' - A Paper on the Character and Implications of Risk in the Context of Economically Motivated Crime
18 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 5, 2011
Paper was presented at the 29th Annual Symposium on Economic Crime in Cambridge, England.
Regardless of our concern for privacy, real-time criminal activity information is being disseminated throughout cyberspace by the private sector. This information is growing very quickly while being archived for search and retrieval on a long term basis. This is inevitable and could not, nor should not, be stopped.
Law enforcement and government policy makers should consider the risk of sharing with the risk of not sharing and allow the private sector to participate in the management of this risk in an informed way. The private sector has the right to be as well informed as law enforcement – they often have as much, if not more, to lose.
Law enforcement should also not be afraid of true partnership with the private sector - meet with privacy experts within government and reconsider the level of secrecy attached to the criminal records and crime reports that have been carefully guarded for all of these years. Whenever and wherever possible, secrecy levels should be abandoned, particularly when one can make a reasonable argument for a 'duty to warn'. There is an opportunity to use valid substantiated information to clarify, correct and override some of the misinformation that is available openly on the Internet.
Fully transparent reported crime along with fully transparent end-results (i.e. criminal records) could be a wondrous thing for the safety of our citizens. It is time that the private sector received more on their side of the private sector law enforcement partnerships. This would undoubtedly go a long ways in preventing much crime before it happens as more and more business people and safety-minded members of each community become better informed about who they are dealing with. The risks associated with being uninformed are very high.
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