Police could use tracker devices to monitor suspects’ health in custody



Opinion piece:

In our opinion, the introduction of the health tracker device technology would have value in any urgent care situation, whatever the outcome. To substantiate this proposed technology, ideally an idea of numbers of detainees who had needed any health interventions/had to attend ED for serious illnesses would substantiate this introduction – i.e. possible near misses information to demonstrate that monitoring is proportionate.

A responsible benchmark of this technology would be to contemplate whether this should be consent based until someone is charged? Having said all that, the technology itself, in my opinion, doesn't seem too invasive; it would be purely be for health signs monitoring, nothing directly about diagnoses or health conditions. We would want to know about data flows/infosec, the potential information that would be going into public cloud, which we think could be a massive barrier to entry.

We believe that there should be a data protection impact assessment (because there should always be an impact assessment on anything like this being implemented) and some stakeholder, public consultation, perhaps via local Health watch groups or links with local health commissioners public engagement work.

I have neutral opinion about the introduction of the technology as I can see both sides (limited resources, privacy versus necessity/best interests of detainees) so I would need to be guided by DPIA output. Peers and the healthcare within the criminal justice  industry itself must ensure having a balance of information risk versus clinical and clinical "wins".

By Sandre Jones