[Politech] Privacy concerns grow as states create "Matrix" database [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Sun Sep 28 2003 - 22:48:18 PDT

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    To: declan@private
    From: Earl Hood <earl@private>
    Reply-To: Earl Hood <earl@private>
    Subject: AP story on 'Matrix' database
    Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 12:53:18 -0500
    Previous politech post:
       Concerns about citizen privacy grow as states create 'Matrix' database
       By Jim Krane, Associated Press, 9/24/2003
       NEW YORK -- While privacy worries are frustrating the Pentagon's plans
       for a far-reaching database to combat terrorism, a similar project
       is quietly taking shape with the participation of more than a dozen
       states -- and $12 million in federal funds. The database project,
       created so states and local authorities can track would-be terrorists
       as well as criminal fugitives, is being built and housed in the offices
       of a private company but will be open to some federal law enforcers
       and perhaps even US intelligence agencies.
       Dubbed Matrix, the database has been in use for a year and a half
       in Florida, where police praise the crime-fighting tool as nimble
       and exhaustive. It cross-references the state's driving records and
       restricted police files with billions of pieces of public and private
       data, including credit and property records.
       But privacy advocates, officials in two states, and a competing data
       vendor have branded Matrix as playing fast and loose with Americans'
       private details.
       They say that Matrix houses restricted police and government files on
       colossal databases that sit in the offices of Seisint Inc., a Boca
       Raton, Fla., company founded by a millionaire who police say flew
       planeloads of drugs into the country in the early 1980s.
       "It's federally funded, it's guarded by state police but it's on
       private property? That's very interesting," said Christopher Slobogin,
       a University of Florida law professor and expert in privacy issues.
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