Police Data Sharing Is A Work In Progress
The Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (Matrix) will no longer be federally funded, ending a three-year effort that cost upwards of $12 million. Only two states–Florida and Ohio–out of the 16 that participated or expressed interest will go on using the technology. That is because of lingering privacy concerns and increased competition to deliver sharing of crime data across state lines. Both states have one-year accords with LexisNexis, the technology firm that owns Matrix, that they are paying for using federal grants.
Mark Zadra, head of investigations for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Office of Statewide Intelligence, comments, “Law-enforcement data sharing isn’t new. We just found a more effective and efficient way to do it.”
Matrix launched in early 2002 with funding from both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department. But the technology was soon criticized for the nature of data being shared, the security of this information, and the cost of taking part in the project.
Matrix’s Factual Analysis Criminal Threat Solution (Facts) database never included credit-card, fingerprint, or travel-record data. However, it faced repeated charges that it did.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from InformationWeek (04/25/05) No. 1036, P. 26; Greenemeier, Larry .