Private data: Europol ordered to erase the data of innocent people

According to an analysis by the European privacy policeman, Europol keeps vast amounts of personal data of innocent people, going against European regulations. Accused of mass surveillance, the agency has been ordered to purge information that is not related to crimes.

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Europol accused of keeping vast amounts of data outside any legal framework and of drifting to an agency spy like the NSA. In a decision published on January 10, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) ordered the criminal police agency to erase all information of individuals in its databases who were not involved in cases. criminal.

According to The Guardian, the agency holds more than 4 petabytes of data from States, collected as part of police operations or the personal data of migrants. The database would contain information on at least 250,000 people. Many of these do not fit into the categories of “suspects”, “potential future criminals”, “contacts and associates”, “victims”, “witnesses” and “informants”. Thus many innocent Europeans, not involved in any crime, could be listed without knowing it.

A wealth of information to train an AI

In addition to illegal surveillance of citizens, the data withheld could be used to lead to artificial intelligence. Europol had already signaled its intention to create its own algorithms using machine learning as early as spring 2020, and this would include facial recognition. After putting the program on hiatus in 2021, the agency recently started recruiting AI experts.

CEDP granted Europol a period of one year to put its files in order. After this deadline, the agency will have to filter the incoming data within a maximum period of six months in order to remove all irrelevant information.

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