Police delete thousands of attachments

Police have deleted 11,000 files after orders to get rid of unlawfully taken photos of young people and adults.

An official inquiry this month found police wrongly took tens of thousands of digital photos for at least a decade and held on to them, without a good reason.

Initially, police said they had deleted 6000 photos under a compliance notice from the Privacy Commissioner.

However, they now say they looked at 6390 records and these had 11,092 attachments that could have been photos, which were all deleted.

No further deletions have been done since early this year “as the frontline have ceased the practice of photographing youth in the manner described in the compliance notice”.

They have now moved on to a “refresh” of their smartphones, during which staff are searching for and deleting photos not held in the national intelligence system, police told RNZ.

“The taking of dual biometric data from persons in custody, both photographs and fingerprints, has ceased, and the ongoing compliance with this will be assured through the audits from December.”

The compliance notice did not cover taking “informal” photos of adults in public, though the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has said it expected this practice to stop also.

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