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Australian police data loss and corruption

January 20, 2009

Here´s a tangled web… at first glance the story being reported in Australian outlets of the state of Victoria´s secret police losing highly confidential data on criminal associates looks like another of those stories so familiar from the UK about an incompetant state unable to safeguard personal data.

But it turns out to be rather more complicated.

It seems that this data loss involves corrupt officers connected to a drugs-smuggling ring. Now, research on identity theft by Jennifer Whitson and Kevin Haggerty in Canada has shown that a high percentage of incidents of frauds are related to the selling or use of data by employees or other organisational insiders. In the UK, we assume incompetance by our state and its numerous private sector associates, but perhaps in this assumption we are too quick to dismiss the possibility of corruption, crime and conspriacies…

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