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back to article UK regulator urges caution on data sharing

The Information Commissioner has published some advice for government bodies that want to share information but think data protection laws prevent them from doing so. The advice note gives a rough idea of the mindfulness public bodies ought to have for human sensibilities when they start shunting data between computer systems …

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Anonymous Coward

Only 40% sure of conviction? Make a new 40% crime!

I think their 'grand vision' is to convict everyone of something.

It seems that whenever they have a case where they aren't sure the person is guilty, they create a lesser crime. So that person can be convicted of something anyway.

Only 40% sure of conviction, results in a mini-crime that's 40% as serious.

The argument then runs, well, so what if he was convicted of mini-crime, the penalty is only 40%-time!

[Don't do the crime if you can't do the time], becomes

[don't do anything that can be 40% construed as a crime unless you can do 40% of the time.]

Examples of this thinking:

Those recent drone helicopters are an example. When a US officer was asked how people would feel knowing a silent helicopter was watching them in their back gardens, he replied: "Well the question becomes, why is their behaviour different from when they're being watched to when they're not being watched?".

I think that's really creepy, of course I would not do anything that could be construed from that poor vantage point as a crime. So no play fighting for example, it might be construed as real fighting from somebody with a bad viewpoint.

ASBO's are another example, hearsay isn't legal in a court of law, so they create a lesser penalty, where hearsay is allowed. The penalty is reduced of course, stuff like, you're no allowed to walk down that street, because officer Dibble says Mrs Miggins is frightened of you.

Control orders for 'terrorists' only they're not terrorists, not even worth following, so they create a penalty so arbitrary as to be meaningless. A 0.1% certainty of a crime, resulting in a 0.1% penalty.....

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