Another problem with the Victorian Police, the LEAP database and privacy

May 18, 2015 |

The Victorian Police LEAP database has had chronic and serious privacy breaches over the years (see here).  And the problem continues with the Herald Sun reporting on a dismal year privacy intrusions in Dishonest police officers caught snooping or sharing Victorians’ private information which provides:

DISHONEST cops are being caught snooping or passing on secrets in growing numbers despite the force’s efforts to protect the private information of millions of Victorians.

Complaints of police abusing information were up 54 per cent in the 21 months to September 2014 on the rate in 2012, while proven cases doubled.

The force’s long-troubled LEAP database remains the central concern despite more than a decade of warnings and calls for its replacement.

Internal records obtained by the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information laws show 229 suspected cases of police abusing private and sensitive information were investigated, including 111 involving LEAP.

One in three were proven, with the rate of substantiated LEAP abuses more than a third higher than in 2012.

Law Enforcement Data ­Security Commissioner David Watts says although awareness of the need for greater ­security was growing and the force had finally accepted all his 2009 recommendations to improve information security, police “attitudes and behaviours have not changed”.

“While there is evidence that Victoria Police’s cultural change strategy is having a positive effect, it has yet to influence attitudes and behaviours,” he wrote in his annual report last August.

Mr Watts says replacement of the force’s ageing and overstretched law enforcement data systems, including LEAP, remain a “significant current challenge”.

Mr Watts also warned of a growing risk of security breaches attributable to lapses in personnel security, in particular the risk of “insider ­intrusion”, with a need for ongoing checks of personnel, information and communication security.

The force’s Professional Standards Command said enormous progress had been made since Taskforce Keel was established in 2013 to investigate allegations a police member had leaked sensitive information to outlaw motorcycle gang members.

“The creation of this taskforce, and an organisation- wide effort to build awareness and understanding of the risks involved, has led to significant increases in reporting,” spokes-woman Lisa Beechey said.

“We recognise the need to improve our approach … We’re confident information security breaches will decrease in the future because our members now better understand the consequences of these actions.”

LEAP was to be replaced in 2009 but delays and cost blowouts saw the new LINK rollout dumped in mid-2011 at a cost of $60.5 million.

 

One Response to “Another problem with the Victorian Police, the LEAP database and privacy”

  1. Another problem with the Victorian Police, the LEAP database and privacy | Australian Law Blogs

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