Ian Kerr was getting paid to snoop on his fellow citizens in the UK. Such a violation of personal privacy is not allowed for profit.
Yesterday David Smith, the deputy information commissioner, said: “This is a serious breach of the Data Protection Act. “Not only was personal information held on individuals without their knowledge or consent, but the very existence of the database was repeatedly denied [by the industry].
“The covert system enabled Mr Kerr to unlawfully trade personal information for many years, helping the construction industry to vet prospective employees. Kerr held information on thousands of construction workers and profited by checking names against his database.” After closing down Kerr’s business, the information commissioner is to prosecute him for breaking the Data Protection Act.
We think it is admirable that the UK is trying to void the penetration of private interests in the public trust.
In the USA there are all sorts of “data collection” agencies that sell, on the internet, personal information for a fee. Anyone can use one of those services to open up their own Bounty Hunter shop, data collection agency or dunning service. They answer to no one. They serve no watchdog or time clock.
We even have the FDNY encouraged to serve as spies on the citizens the agency is intended to protect and help.
When will the USA government step in to protect the ordinary citizen from the “for-profit” private spy?