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State Audit Finds Serious Lapses In CalGang Database

Photo credit: Milan Kovacevic

Shirley Weber speaks at the Westin Hotel in downtown San Diego, June 7, 2016.


CalGang Audit Report

CalGang Audit Report

A state audit of the CalGang database, which found several severe errors including people entered without proper substantiation.

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State Audit Finds Serious Lapses In CalGang Database


Shirley Weber, assemblywoman, District 79


CalGang, a database used by law enforcement agencies to keep track of people's alleged gang ties, may infringe on Californians' privacy rights, lacks rigorous oversight and is rife with errors, according to a state audit released late last week.

The audit was prompted by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, who had said basic information about the database was unavailable.

Some errors appeared to be the result of typos: 42 people in the database were listed as younger than one year old and 28 of those supposed babies had "admitted" to being gang members, according to the report. But others were more systemic, auditors said. Some people were set to stay in the database for up to 100 years, much longer than allowed, and others were entered without proper evidence of any gang affiliation. And some police departments with access to the database used it as an employment screening tool, even though the information is only supposed to be used for law enforcement purposes.

"User agencies are tracking some people in CalGang without adequate justification, potentially violating their privacy rights," the audit said. "Further, by not reviewing information as required, CalGang’s governance and user agencies have diminished the system’s crime-fighting value."

Weber joins Midday Edition Tuesday with more on CalGang oversight and the likelihood of a legislative solution.

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