Huge Canadian police database in works
Civil libertarians say privacy at risk in $65 million computer project
By Karen Kleiss
EDMONTON - The Alberta government is quietly building a $65-million police information database that will allow officers across the province to share details about proven and suspected criminal activity in real time.
The Alberta Law Officers' Network, or Talon, is meant to help police catch increasingly sophisticated criminals, but civil liberties groups and academics worry it unnecessarily invades citizens' privacy and will be open to abuse.
"The concept is that we will have a single source of the truth," said Ayaaz Janmohamed, executive director of the solicitor general's information technology branch and the man who is overseeing the project. "It is going to create this information repository, which will allow for a master index of any person who comes into contact with any police agency in Alberta."