Policing, Databases and Surveillance: Five Regulatory Categories
National Constitution White Paper Series (2017, Forthcoming)
Academy for Justice: A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice (Erik Luna ed., 2017, Forthcoming)
23 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2017 Last revised: 30 Aug 2017
Date Written: April 6, 2017
Databases are full of personal information that law enforcement might find useful. Government access to these databases can be divided into five categories: suspect-driven; profile-driven; event-driven; program-driven and volunteer-driven. This paper recommends that, in addition to any restrictions imposed by the Fourth Amendment (which currently are minimal), each type of access should be subject to its own regulatory regime. Suspect-driven access should depend on justification proportionate to the intrusion. Profile-driven access should likewise abide by a proportionality principle but should also be subject to transparency, vetting, and universality restrictions. Event-driven access should be cabined by the time and place of the event. Program-driven access should be authorized by legislation and by regulations publicly arrived-at and evenly applied. Information maintained by institutional fiduciaries should not be volunteered unless necessary to forestall an ongoing or imminent serious wrong.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation