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+7 votes

For people not suspected of any crime, do they have the rights to protect themselves from having their personal information accessed by the police?

asked in DATA360_Spring2019 by (1 point)

1 Answer

+4 votes

I personally think that the police should have everyone's data readily available whenever needed since it will help keep our society safe and stable. Even though one may not be suspected of any crime, their personal information may contain pieces of evidence about others. For example, if a man is suspected of a crime, the police should be able to access personal information of his family, friends, relatives, colleagues... (like call logs to him, any money transfer from or to this man in bank statements, any contacts and so on). However, the police should make it clear to all the people whose data is being used that their data is being used for additional investigation.

answered by (1 point)

That's a good example. However, in the case of marital privilege, for example, a spouse has the right to refuse to disclose any information or testify against his or her partner. In this case, this person would have the rights not to provide the information to the police?


In that case, I agree that the spouse should have the right to refuse to disclose information to the police.


But what standard of suspicion is necessary in your view? Can the police just check everyone that they have collected data about, because they are generally suspicious? Can they check them all for evidence of any crimes, or do they need to be investigating a specific crime? In the U.S., for police to come into your home and gather evidence, they would generally need to have a search warrant, and in order to obtain that search warrant, they would first need to convince a judge that there was "probable cause" that the search is justified. Police can't just walk into everyone's home in a whole neighborhood and search for drugs just because they know drugs were being sold somewhere in that neighborhood. Should police be able to tap into private data that's been collected about you without a warrant?