Analysis and search system of the police: will “vera” for privacy nightmare?

Analysis and search system of the police: will'vera' zum datenschutz-albtraum?'vera' zum datenschutz-albtraum?

Beat terrorists in Bavaria, the police are too slow when looking for possible wire drawers. It has become particularly evident in the summer of 2016, says Martin Peindl from the state criminal office in Munchen. Whether in a bomb attack in Ansbach with 15 injured or the assassination in the Munchner Olympia shopping center with nine death victims: "Was the tatter alone? Who is in his environment? We realize that we need it comparatively long." Because the search in your own databases is often unnotically complicated for the police.

"Our historically grown data are comparable to a library in which a search index is missing", Says Jurgen Brandl from the IT investigation understatement of the state criminal office. "The analysts are plenty of creating this data first when looking for cross connections." In order to save this working time, the investigators put on the new software VERA (procedural research and analysis platform). It is designed to browse the police databases of the police on connections to heavy-criminal browsing.

Data protection danger

What arises in Bavaria’s police hopes for quick investigation successes, with data protections lute the alarm bells. "That’s highly problematic", says the Bavarian state data protection officer Thomas Petri. A coarse part of the data, access to which investigators can access, is collected for completely different purposes than to get terrorism and organized criminality. Now, if a program automates all databases for this purpose, these areas were no longer sufficiently separated, says Petri.

But also the question of the supplier of the software prepares data protectioners. The Landeskriminal Office has opened the competition for the order for several companies. However, the conditions for participation are very concrete: For example, the provider must have supplied such a program in the past five years to a security resistance in Germany or an EU state. The software still has to be in operation there.

"There is exactly one company that meet these requirements", Says the Left Bundestag MEP Anke Domscheit-Berg, chair of the committee for network policy topics. "It’s an open secret: this is palantir cut on the body." The like the sighting stones from the "Lord of the rings"-Book series named US company was funded in its element by the foreign intelligence service CIA. The company works today, among other things, for the Pentagon. Europol uses Palantir’s Big Data Software "Gotham".

Domscheit-Berg fears that Palantir, it should be given the order for vera, data in the US could branch off: "Since the company should also wait the hardware and software, it’s, of course, data also expires and both hardware and software are manipulated."

The Bavarian Landeskriminamt emphasizes, on the other hand, the data was stored in accordance with the Data Center of the Police. Even a maintenance is only possible on site. Domscheit-Berg does not convimate that: "I will know enough about the digital competence of our investigative authorities. They do not get that, if that happens."

Palantir software in the Bundeslandel

It is also due to the kind of tender for Bayeric software at the federal level. It determines that all national crime markers in Germany as well as the Federal Criminal Police Office and Customs at VERA can draw a purchase option, the program should be preserved in Bavaria. Domscheit-Berg stops for an introduction by the backtime: "If the covenant had written down the self, it had given more wind."

In Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia, the police have already gained experience with Palantir software, albeit under different names ("Hessendata" and "Dar"To). The Commissionman NRW Data Protection Supervisor Roul Tiachen announced the local Ministry of the Interior that the software is lacking in its opinion the legal basis. Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) then spoke of misunderstandings for functioning.

But tailing is not alone with his association. "At Vera I had very rough ambitions, to say that does not thirst", says his Bavarian colleague Thomas Petri. "I had to say, you have to go over the legislator. If this is such a heart project, you also have to file that." The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, however, is the sake of doing no laws for the use of the software. And Petri may be as a data protection officer, but has no possibility to insert a Veto.

National Criminal Police Office sees no data protection risk

In the Bavarian Landeskriminamt office you are sure to meet the requirements of data protection in the use of the new software. "Any analyst must always specify at what legal basis he carries out this request", Says Martin Peindl. There are a random logging. "Every step of searchable", Also stresses his colleague Jurgen Brandl.

In demand for Palantir, it is on the side of the LKA, you have deliberately selected an open invitation to tender and excluded no provider. There are several applicants, details you can not call from legal reasons. With a surcharge, not to be expected before the end of the year. "Whoever covers our requirements in the end, but we do not care", Says Martin Peindl.

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