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German Court Rules Police Use of Crimefighting Software Unlawful

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Hesse State Minister of Interior Peter Beuth said current practices must be made more robust and codified, but welcomed the ruling for recognizing that "police work of the future must deal efficiently with large amounts of data."

Credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

A top German court has ruled that police use of automated data analysis to prevent crime in some German states violates their constitutions, backing opponents of software provided by U.S. company Palantir Technologies.

The constitutional court determined provisions regulating the technology's employment in the states of Hesse and Hamburg breach the right to informational self-determination.

The German Society for Civil Rights argued the case against police data analysis, claiming Palantir software used innocent people's data to sow suspicion, and could generate errors that impact people in danger of police discrimination.

The court has given Hesse until Sept. 30 to redraft its provisions, and annulled legislation in Hamburg, where the technology had yet to be used.

From Reuters
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