Privacy be damned, cops need our records

Summary:NSW Police this week said they want access to phone records of missing people whether there's suspicion of foul play or not. And why shouldn't they?

commentary NSW Police this week said they want access to phone records of missing people whether there's suspicion of foul play or not. And why shouldn't they?

police image

(Caithness-shire Constabulary circa 1874 image by
Dave Conner, CC2.0)

But, of course, this wasn't the view of the privacy pundits who claim to fight for our rights.

They said the powers would be subject to abuse by our supposed quasi-Orwellian law men and women.

The privacy pundits also said the powers would be used without our consent.

They even said, "some people who go missing want to stay missing, for their own safety or 'whatever' reason".

If they had their way, these archaic antagonists would have our law keepers using whistles in moments of distress, and using oil lamps to track criminals.

Opposition for opposition's sake is the same vexatious dribble that has borne our disillusionment with the incumbent political parties, and it has driven my belief that these privacy pundits need to rethink their modus operandi.

If they truly represent the people, then they must know our opinions of privacy have changed: look at how we flocked to nascent social networks, sprayed our personal data over the public internet, and smiled when pubs and clubs made copies of our driver licences.

Yet while these powers are designed to help police find our missing friends and families, they just could not resist the sirens.

They would have achieved relevance by flagging the need for police accountability and oversight, so those abusing access to citizen phone records would be outed.

But that would require compromise, and it seems they will continue to call for omnipotent anonymity in a world where privacy is, for many, an afterthought.

Topics: Security, Telcos

About

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

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