Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission has revealed that since July 1, 2015 it has completed 15 investigations into unauthorised access of confidential information by Queensland police.
As a result of this, it has laid down 81 criminal charges and 11 disciplinary recommendations.
This includes one officer who was convicted of 50 hacking offences after he accessed the Queensland Police Service’s secure crimes database to look through information on people he met on a dating service.
Other cases it has investigated include a police officer who accessed the criminal history of a friend’s former partner to help them win a custody case. A public servant was also handed an 18-month suspended service for accessing building reports to help make her property buying decision.
The CCC has said that allegations made against police and public servants accessing information they weren’t meant to through government databases made up 11.5% of all claims made in the last financial year. This is up from 7% the year earlier.
“What may seem a simple ‘peek’ by a public servant at someone else’s personal data is not only an invasion of privacy, it’s potentially a criminal offence and grounds for investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission,” the CCC said.
“Unauthorised access and disclosure can adversely affect projects, give unfair advantage to a person or entity, breach a person’s privacy and will damage the reputation of the agency involved.”