IACP Outlines Standards for Police Tech

The International Association of Chiefs of Police's document outlines how police might make better use of new technologies while also safeguarding the rights of citizens.

by / January 9, 2014

There is an ongoing chess match between law enforcement agencies and civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

For years, groups like the ACLU have used their power and influence to limit the reach of law enforcement agencies and to protect personal privacy and basic rights. Today, the debates are about emerging technologies like drones and automatic license plate readers, technologies law enforcement often want to use but face resistance in doing so. It’s for that reason the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released the IACP Technology Policy Framework.

The 11-page document outlines standards for how law enforcement agencies are to use and manage such technologies. The hope, the IACP reported, is that such a framework will allow law enforcement to make more effective use of technology while also appeasing civil liberties groups -- to an extent that will in turn allow law enforcement to gain greater access to valuable technology when those groups see that law enforcement agencies are taking the power of such technologies seriously and doing their part to safeguard personal rights.

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The framework outlines how to create policies, what things should be considered and provides nine “universal principles” for the creation of technology policies. The nine universal principles provided by the IACP Technology Policy Framework are:

•    Specification of Use
•    Policies and Procedures
•    Privacy and Data Quality
•    Data Minimization and Limitation
•    Performance Evaluation
•    Transparency and Notice
•    Security
•    Data Retention, Access, and Use
•    Auditing and Accountability

The document concludes by saying that the proper management of such technologies is important, and states that ongoing training for new technologies must be maintained so as to protect the privacy of citizens, as well as the security of law enforcement agencies’ systems.