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03/26/2003 Archived Entry: "Accuracy in the FBI database? Why bother?"

ACCURACY IN THE FBI'S DATABASES? HO HUM, WHY BOTHER? From USA Today and the Justice Department comes this charming news: the FBI is no longer under any obligation to make sure info on you is "accurate, relevant, timely and complete" before putting it in its criminal databases.

These are the databases, remember, that may land you in jail, keep you from getting a job, or prevent you from boarding a plane to visit your dying grandma. They're also the databases that cops have notoriously abused to search for information on ex-girlfriends, sexy strangers, and personal enemies.

The quaint old requirement for accuracy (imposed by the ever-diminishing Privacy Act) was often ignored, anyway. But ... well, at least it was there. We could point at it and scream about our "rights," which does seem to make us feel better.

The article didn't make it clear how the Justice Department became authorized to make an executive change in a law passed by Congress. Do such questions even matter these days?

Posted by Claire @ 09:08 AM CST

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