Restricting the public information released by law enforcement




Crossland, Health

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the release of personal identifying information through government agencies, specifically law enforcement. The Freedom of Information Act of 1967 along with the Texas Public Information Act of 1973 lead to the creation of laws regulating the release of information to the public. When these laws were established, technology was not nearly as advanced as it is today. The lack of updating of these laws leads to the release of personal identifying information of individuals. In today’s modern society, individuals have access to government documents whenever they want. The advent of the internet has created numerous industries that have proven lucrative for those industry pioneers. One industry that has flourished since the advent of the internet are data brokers. These individual companies use technology to obtain large amounts of information off the internet. Data mining is the act of collecting that data. Retailers as well as government agencies use this method to obtain huge amounts of data in order to better their services. They also collect this data through their websites to sell to other businesses for profit. The problem with this exchange of information is that there is little regulation. Once the requested information is out of the hands of the government agency, there is little regulation of that information. The Business and Commerce Code (“Prohibited use of Crime Victim, 2009) described the sale of crime victim or motor vehicle accident information for the purpose of soliciting business as a class C misdemeanor and the Attorney General’s Office needs to pursue charges. Public information released by law enforcement should be more restrictive. The current laws need revision to protect the individual citizen.


Discusses the releasing personal identifying information of individuals to the public in this day of modern technology and data mining with questions about the lack of regulations on how information from a government agency can be used.


police community relations, data mining and law enforcement