UK Regulator Reprimands Surrey, Sussex Police for Illegally Recording Calls

Cumbria police car, with “POLICE” in mirror writing (“ECILOP”).InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said on Tuesday that it had issued a reprimand to the police of the counties of Surrey and Sussex for illegally recording over 200,000 phone calls, likely to be with victims and perpetrators of crimes. “The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to both Surrey Police and Sussex Police, following the rollout of an app that recorded phone conversations and unlawfully captured personal data,” the office said in a statement, adding that a total of 200,000 recordings of calls “likely with victims, witnesses, and perpetrators of suspected crimes, were automatically saved.” The regulator said that in 2020 it had become aware that staff members in the police had used an app recording all incoming and outgoing phone calls, with a total of 1,015 police officers and other employees downloading the app. A large amount of personal data was collected as a result, though officers themselves were unaware that the calls were recorded, and people talking to the officers were not informed about the recording, the ICO stated, saying that the processing of the data was “unfair and unlawful.” At the moment, all calls unrelated to ongoing investigations have been deleted and the app has been withdrawn from use, according to the ICO.


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