Sunday, 7 March 2010

Legal niceties?

Databases are growing like Topsy. Here is yet another. BAE systems has been awarded a €2.3 million contract to develop a Strategic crime and immigration information management system (SCIIMS) for the European Union.

The use of controversial information technologies such as data mining, profiling and predictive modelling are explicitly mandated by the EU contract, in spite of widespread concerns about their legality and effectiveness.

SCIIMS will mine large data sets. This could include EU databases such as the EUROPOL and Schengen Information Systems, as well as national police and immigration databases in the member states. Unless these practices are regulated by national or international law, they will almost certainly be unlawful. Yet there is no mention whatsoever of data protection within the EU-BAE contract.

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