ARL Scenario: Inappropriate usage of missing person information

Description of events/Transaction Log

  • Delta company finds foreign language documents containing names, addresses, and pictures at the IED factory
  • The documents are translated into HTML with RDFa markup
  • RDFa is extracted from the translated documents and matched against the Red Cross missing persons database
  • A match returned. The suspected terrorist's brother has filed him as a missing person. The search result includes the brother's address
  • Delta company carry out the search at the brother's premises
  • The brother files a complaint asking for a reason why his premises were searched
  • The AIR reasoners infers that the use of Red Cross data to carry out a search violates the UN resolution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 12
  • Transaction log in N3


There were several policies that could be applicable including
  • Red Cross Policy
    This is what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says about information used for family reunification:
    "The information given on this website is not confidential and can be consulted by everyone. It is the responsibility of those registering to ensure that no harm is caused by registration. The ICRC cannot accept any responsibility for any consequences for an individual arising from registration."
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for privacy of family relationships:
    Article 12
    "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
  • Geneva Convention
    (4) Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
    Part I : General provisions Article 10
    "The provisions of the present Convention constitute no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict concerned, undertake for the protection of civilian persons and for their relief."
  • UN General Assembly resolution
    "Humanitarian assistance must be provided in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality."

Policy analysis

  • Red cross rule says that user of data is responsible for ensuring no harm will come from registration on the website and from using the data. So we cannot use this to prove disprove incompliance.
  • Universal Declaration of Human rights, Article 12 rule that says no one should be subjected to arbitrary interference with respect to privacy and home. As the search was carried out without due process i.e. without giving notice or obtaining consent, we can show that this policy was violated
  • The UN Resolution provides details of acceptable humanitarian relief. As the search of the brother's premises was not carried out for humanitarian relief but for counter terrorism, this policy was also violated.
  • Universal Declaration of Human rights Policy
  • UN General Assembly resolution Policy


Complaint is analyzed by the AIR reasoner with the following result:
  • reasoning result: complaint by brother is valid and the use of Red cross data for purposes other than humanitarian purposes without "due process" violates both the Universal Declaration of Human rights, Article 12 and and the UN General Assembly Resolution
  • explanation offered by reasoner: - search is invalid because (i) search depends on Red Cross data (ii) Red Cross data can only be used for humanitarian purposes or if consent was provided or if there was 'due process'.
  • SearchEvent is non-compliant


maintained by Lalana Kagal
$Revision: 31712 $
$Date: 2012-10-15 17:48:46 -0400 (Mon, 15 Oct 2012) $