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Nation’s Top Cops Call For Limits on Surveillance Tools

January 8, 2014 10:10:35 am

Photo by reynermedia, via Flickr

Can police strike a proper balance between the use of new technologies and the privacy rights of citizens?  The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) believes the balance can be achieved if law enforcement authorities follow “universal principles” of transparency and accountability.  

A set of recommendations released today by the IACP calls for agencies to build “robust auditing requirements into agency policies” that will reassure the public about how the huge amounts of data collected through surveillance and other monitoring tools will be used.

Law enforcement data collection came under public scrutiny last year after National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden released troves of classified information about high-tech government monitoring.

The IACP said police need to place boundaries on real-time data collection.

“Only those data that are strictly needed to accomplish the specific objectives approved by the agency will be deployed,” said the organization whose roughly 20,000 members represent most of the country’s top cops.

“And only for so long as it demonstrates continuing value and alignment with applicable constitutional, legislative, regulatory, judicial, and policy mandates.”

Read the IACP’s recommendations below:


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