Chinese tech companies Dahua and Hikvision can access UK business crime data like research and hotspot trends. Privacy advocates have raised the alarm given recent national security concerns.
The tech companies have associate membership of the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS), an initiative backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council to share crime data with businesses. The membership gives the Chinese companies access to “senior decision makers at some nation’s most prestigious organizations.”
The NBCS aims to prevent serial shoplifters, fraudsters, and other criminals from committing crimes. It claims that it provides the “best business crime insights and intelligence available in the UK.” Aside from being backed by the NPCC, it receives funding from the Home Office.
Through its iNTEL ONE system, the initiative collects and analyzes crime trends, mostly shoplifting, from businesses. The data can include names, gender, physical description of suspects, images, and details of offenses, The Telegraph reported.
NCBS shares the data with its members and allows them to directly request intelligence from the police. Associate membership, which costs between £4,000 ($4,000) and £15,000 ($18,600) annually, does not have the same privileges as a normal membership. However, associate members can access market research on the “latest, live crime trends and mapping across all retail industry types.” They also have access to iNTEL ONE which allows them to view hotspot areas and crime trends.
Big Brother Watch said to the Telegrapoh the Chinese companies’ access to UK crime data is “deeply alarming” considering the recent national security concerns.