11/07/2012

Ex-cop awarded $1M after database misused to find her photo

The case is one of the largest data breaches committed by officers in history

By PoliceOne Staff

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A former police officer will receive more than $1 million in multiple lawsuit settlements after learning that 104 officers accessed her driver’s license picture using an official database.

The Minneapolis City Council will pay Anne Marie Rasmusson $392,000, in addition to a $280,000 settlement she reached with other cities, and $385,000 from St. Paul. More will be awarded if she wins a pending lawsuit with the state, according to the Daily Mail.

The case is one of the largest data breaches committed by officers in history, according to the article.

Rasmusson, 37, said she first became aware that other officers were looking up her photo when a colleague mentioned in 2009 that he and his partner had used their squad car computer to view her driver’s license image.

City Pages found that officers in 18 state agencies accessed her records 425 times.

Rasmusson told the paper that she feels her privacy has been violated.

“There is nothing that I would say about this driver’s license photo or any of my previous ones that in any way would deserve the attention that they’ve gotten. I can't begin to understand what people were thinking."

Under the settlement, Rasmusson’s name, picture, address and other personal information will be removed from the city and police department’s internal directory and website.

Most of the officers who looked up Rasmusson’s record received warning letters and additional training. One officer was given a demotion and a five-day suspension.

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