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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Who's in Jail 


We often assume that the right to privacy is a First Amendment right, handed down by the Founding Fathers, for which brave men hath spilt their blood.

Well, I don't know the legal justification for the right to privacy, but in essence there is no such right in many circumstances.

Take, for example, Pinellas County's Who's in Jail website. I only know one person in Pinellas County, and he works for the Sheriff's Office and (hopefully) isn't in the database, but it's amazing what information can be found.

For example, I can see all people who were booked by the Florida Highway Patrol on September 1, 2006. Here's an example of what you can find:


Name
Docket No.
Booking Date
Arresting Agency
Address
City
State
Zip Code
Race
Sex
DOB
Place of Birth
Arrest Age
Eyes
Hair
Complexion
Height
Weight
Scars, Marks & Tattoos



You can also find the offense description, as well as the statute under which the person was arrested.

And people are worried about information that may be left on MySpace. Heck, any Pinellas County employer can do a very quick background check for any prospective employee, from their own computer, free of charge. Granted that the online data only goes back about a year, but it's still something of which you need to be aware.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
Ok, working for a law firm, I think this is questionable. One of the things we do is background checks on potential employees for companies. We have to have the candidate's signed release to do this in most states. Of course, I guess, if your butt is sitting in the jail at the moment, then it's public record... and you ain't getting the job.
 
Probably falls under the same category of newspaper publication of the names of people arrested. Come to think of it, they may publish addresses also.
 
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