The website, LeadsOnline.com, allows law enforcement agencies to "search for suspects and stolen property across secondhand stores, scrap metal dealers, pawnshops and Internet drop-off stores . . ."
. . . Oneida County businesses that fall into those categories will be required to register with the website by April 1, and to then upload their transaction information on a daily basis . . . (emphasis added)According to the website's About page
. . . we help businesses, which are typically required by law to report their transactions to law enforcement, by making reporting easier and more efficient. From secondhand dealers, pawnshops, and gold buyers to pharmacies and scrap metal dealers, we help each of them reduce the hassles of reporting. The vast majority of the transactions taking place in those businesses are completely legitimate, but reporting laws exist because a relative few are related to criminal activity on the part of the customer or some other party. . . (emphasis added)But "the website" is NOT "law enforcement" and it is NOT a government agency. It admits so. It is a private entity.
When disposing of items it is not unusual for a dealer to take a thumbprint, a signature, and make a copy of your drivers license. How much of this information will be "uploaded" to the "website?" What assurance do you have that YOUR information will be kept private? Will you become a "suspect" because your name is in their database? You may deal with a dealer whom you trust (because you know him or her), but your dealer is now going to be "required" by Oneida County to share this information with a third party over which neither you, your dealer, nor the County will have control. Per the website's data access agreement:
"TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY LAW, LEADS DISCLAIMS ALL REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER INCLUDING FOR ANY BREACH OF SECURITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRANSMISSION OF SENSITIVE INFORMATION TO LEADS OR THROUGH THE WEBSITE."While there is no reason to believe that the website isn't run by a reputable company with a great product -- and the people running the operation certainly look like nice people -- shouldn't the choice be YOURS who has access to your private transaction information? -- or at least the choice be of the person you choose to do business with? With the collection of such information into one place, isn't there a potential for abuse? If you are in financial distress and visit pawn shops regularly, do you want that information out there?
Should the County be choosing who has access to your private information?
While the database may make the police's job easier, this forced-sharing of information with a 3rd party over whom no one has control is troubling.
What do you think?