Privacy

Minnesota Attorney Is Just One Victim in Police Database-Snooping Scandal

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A couple of months ago we heard that Florida cops were abusing driver and vehicle databases to gain information on a fellow officer who had the nerve to arrest one of their own — as well as for other run-of-the-mill, unofficial creepiness. Now we discover that misuse of databases by police is a problem in Minnesota, too. One of the more prominent targets of data-trawling is a former police union attorney, who was the subject of hundreds of unauthorized inquiries.

From The Pioneer-Press:

Brooke Bass spent her legal career looking out for the best interests of police officers.

They were looking out for her, too, her lawyer says—but in a different way.

In the past eight years, more than 100 entities across Minnesota—nearly all of them law enforcement—accessed Bass's private driver's license information more than 700 times, her attorney said.

That would make her the subject of the biggest privacy breach to date in the state's increasingly broad and increasingly expensive license-data debacle.

As the article makes clear, the problem doesn't begin and end with Bass. In fact, it's so widespread that "at least one law firm has placed an ad in a newspaper in southwestern Minnesota seeking claimants." There's certainly more to come, since the Legislative Auditor's office "found more than half of Minnesota law enforcement personnel with access to driver's license data might have made inappropriate searches."

Note that IRS agents have been caught entertaining themselves with similar searches of the sensitive records at their disposal, for both fun and profit. But as government agencies acquire and store ever-more information about our finances, guns, health and many other matters, they're sure to get it right eventually? Aren't they?

Yeah. Right.

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  1. A couple of months ago we heard that Florida cops were abusing driver and vehicle databases

    Not just Florida cops (although maybe they use it to gain info on fellow cops). One of the blights on my alma mater, the Parking Services department, has access to Department of Motor Vehicle records for no other reason than to arbitrarily assign tickets for unregistered parked vehicles.

    I had been in Japan for a year and came back to find out I had a hold on my account because my sister had used the car registered in my name to park on campus without a permit one time. Nice fucking due process.

  2. It’s states like these that make the other 96% of the union look bad, amirite?

  3. Give me a break. This bitch retired from the police force with full pay at something like 38 years-old. Then she got a l,aw degree and now double-dips as a cop lawyer.

  4. Brooke Bass spent her legal career looking out for the best interests of police officers.

    They were looking out for her, too, her lawyer says — but in a different way.

    In the past eight years, more than 100 entities across Minnesota — nearly all of them law enforcement — accessed Bass’s private driver’s license information more than 700 times, her attorney said.

    Brooke Bass: 5/10

    1. My first thought was “why so many searches if she’s ostensibly on their side? Oh, she must be moderately good looking or better.” And I was right!

    2. It’s not a particularly good pic of her. Plus, they don’t refer to cops as “blue” for nuthin’!

      1. yeah if she weren’t such a statist, at least a 9. Might be the hottest state prosecutor in the state. Oh wait, that’s sexist.

  5. No one would ever abuse census data.

    1. I do, every day. But then again I’m not the government.

      1. Abusing data must be a new euphemism for your special alone time. I bet you enjoy causing stack overflows too, pervert.

        1. With fucking government data, at that. Some anarchist!

          1. Hey, it’s free. What do you expect me to do, pay for it? I mean, it’s not like I have any principles anyway.

        2. I’m actually more partial to null reference exceptions.

          1. Of course an anarchist can’t properly handle garbage collecting.

            1. Garbage collection is beneath me. I leave that to the platform. Only poor programmers do their own garbage collection.

              I’m also partial to argument out of range exceptions, because counting is hard.

              1. We all get burned by the ?1 occasionally.

        3. Find a few ladies and go looking for 404 pages.

          (I have simple tastes.)

  6. I can’t remember the details, but there was one police department that abused the system so much that the state revoked access to it for an entire year…

      1. *Adds Ted S to list*

  7. What do you want to bet this was a scheme to get her tons of money by suing localities where the cops abused their priveleges? Her law firm gets paid, the municipalities raise taxes, the cops who did the actual abuses get a moderate slap on the wrist while their union pension funds get a healthy check from her firm after the dust settles. The cops never get a real disciplinary action but get back pay for some sort of reputational stress disorder. Everyone who matters wins.

  8. Check out the female Private Detective Law enforcement accessed in Minnesota. ( Hilary Devary) She is beautiful and its very apparent why they pulled her photos. This is happening everywhere. i hope these guys have their pensions taken away rather then have taxpayers have to suffer.

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