Monday, August 21, 2006

Canadian police forces link databases

Thanks to a reader who passed this along .... And apologies for the formatting. I will clean it up when I get to a PC.

A range of Canadian police forces have banded together under the leadership of the RCMP to join their information systems to avoid interjurisdictional gaps. The press release is below, but I find the mentions of privacy to be the most interesting part. They say that "Governance and policy mechanisms ensure the PIP respects both federal and provincial privacy legislation and principles for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information."

I hate to be cynical, but ...  I find that interesting and a bit hard to take at face value. I have yet to see an electronic health system do that and the healthcare system is used to operating in the sunshine. I would be interested to see the privacy impact assessments for this project and info on how the access, acccuracy, accountability and challenging compliance principles are incorported.  

Here is the release:

Minister Toews Joins Police Community in Supporting Newest Crime Fighting Tool - Police Information Portal Becomes National in Scope, Allows Greater Information Sharing Among Police
St. John’s, August 20, 2006 * Today the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice lent his support as a number of police services signed on to the Police Information Portal (PIP), increasing the national scope of PIP, a robust, crime-fighting tool. With today’s signing, the total number of police services participating in PIP rises to 126.

PIP will provide a secure information gateway that will allow police to work collaboratively by accessing occurrence data in each other’s records management systems (RMS). Participating police services dynamically post records from their RMS to the national Police Information Portal. With a single query, they can search all other participating police service RMSs for vehicles, people, property or occurrences, and receive consolidated reports.

The national Police Information Portal is an efficient way to provide dynamic information-sharing among Canadian police services. The solution leverages existing RMS systems and regional information-sharing arrangements, minimizing the investment required by participating law-enforcement partners. The RCMP National Police Services is the custodian of the PIP development and roll-out on behalf of the Canadian police community.

“I am pleased to see that this Government’s investment in the Police Information Portal will soon provide real benefits for police officers across Canada,” said Minister Toews. “The Police Information Portal is an important technology tool that will allow police officers to use real-time information to prevent and reduce crime, keeping Canadian homes and communities safe.”

Chief Vince Bevan, Ottawa Police Service, and Chair of the PIP Governance Committee echoed Minister Toews by saying, “Information sharing through the PIP system will increase police effectiveness and prevent offenders from slipping through the cracks. In the past, offenders used jurisdictional gaps to their advantage. PIP closes those gaps.”

Governance and policy mechanisms ensure the PIP respects both federal and provincial privacy legislation and principles for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

“The RCMP is pleased to lend its support to the PIP and continue its development and implementation to aid all Canadian police agencies in their work,” said RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. “We are leveraging our expertise in the development and implementation of other technology tools such as the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) Renewal, and are confident that the PIP will meet the collective needs of the Canadian law enforcement community.”

Currently almost one-third of Canada’s police officers are using the system.

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