UK Information Commissioner issues enforcement notice against Metropolitan Police Gangs Violence Matrix


In November 2016 the UK Information Commissioner's Office issued an enforcement notice against London's Metropolitan Police, finding that there had been multiple and serious breaches of data protection law in the organisation's use of the Gangs Violence Matrix, which it had operated since 2012. The ICO documented failures of oversight and coherent guidance, and an absence of basic data protection practices such as encryption and agreements covering data sharing. Individuals whose details are held in the database are assigned a traffic light risk rating based on information such as arrests, convictions, and other intelligence including social media use. Amnesty International and other campaigners have complained that the database inherently breaches numerous data protection principles and fails to differentiate among the groups of people listed on the database, 64% of whom are rated "green". The ICO found that even people with a risk score of zero remain on both the database and on "informal" lists that officers create on their personal hard drives.

Writer: Rebecca Hill

Publication: The Register

Publication date: 2018-11-16