Ontario police's Big Data assigns secret guilt to people looking for jobs, crossing borders

There are no effective legal limits on when and to whom police can disclose unproven charges against you, 911 calls involving mental health incidents, and similar sensitive and prejudicial information; people have been denied employment, been turned back at the US border and suffered many other harms because Ontario cops send this stuff far and wide.

Included in the information police share are the charges laid against a wife in order to coerce her to testify against her husband; she agreed and the charges were dropped, but they were still disclosed to an employer and ended her career.

The Toronto Star has spoken to hundreds of people whose lives have been compromised in similar ways. Without legislation limiting these disclosures, there's no way for the Police Chiefs to require forces to stop sharing it, so they've asked for voluntary measures to limit access to the information.

Included in the database are charges that were dropped, meaning that the subjects of these allegations have an arrest record saying they did something bad, but no criminal record saying they were found innocent. It's Kafka meets McCarthy by way of Orwell.

Police chiefs call for presumed innocence in background checks [Robert Cribb/Toronto Star]

(Thanks, Yannick!)

(Image: Metro Toronto Police Logo, Mystery Eyeball, Florida Fish and Wildlife, CC-BY)