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Govt withdraws police software

Use of experimental database is suspended after protests from rights groups over labels like 'homosexual' and 'unionist'

A database of victims and offenders has been withdrawn by the government after protests from civil liberties groups objecting to intrusive labels such as ‘homosexual’ and ‘trade unionist’.

Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said use of the experimental ‘Ardoise’ program had been suspended following complaints that victims and criminals were grouped under headings such as ‘homeless’, ‘transexual’, ‘homosexual’, ‘trade unionist’ and ‘elderly’.

A spokesman for the ministry said they had listened to criticism about the categories and would re-examine the methods of data collecting ‘with respect to civil liberties’.

‘Ardoise’ was designed to be a central database accessible by the police and gendarmerie.

Police unions, gay-rights groups and Green and Socialist parties had all criticized the database.

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