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Understanding CJIS Compliance and Data Encryption

Understanding CJIS Compliance and Data Encryption

Criminal Justice agencies, ranging from local police departments to the FBI, document various aspects of criminal justice information (CJI). This may include fingerprints, body-worn camera footage, or a facial recognition gallery made up of mugshots and related criminal history. It’s obviously crucial that this kind of information remain safeguarded and only accessible to those who truly need such information to perform their job. Each criminal justice agency must be on the same page about protecting this data; this is where CJIS compliance and data encryption come into play.

Learn more about the relationship between data encryption and CJIS compliance, and why the right data encryption methods are essential for maintaining the confidentiality required of criminal justice information.

What is CJIS Compliance?

Every day, criminal justice and law enforcement agencies on the local, state, and federal levels access the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) databases for information necessary to perform background checks and track criminal activity. It’s important that this data not fall into the wrong hands — the security of CJIS data could mean the difference between civil liberties being secured or violated.

CJIS compliance keeps networks on the same page when it comes to data security and encryption, and ensures that sensitive criminal justice intel is locked down. However, there is no nationwide, uniform certification system for CJIS compliance; instead, each state government manages CJIS compliance semi-independently through a state-appointed CJIS Systems Officer (CSO) who administers policy for computers, networks, and other parts of the CJIS infrastructure. The CSO is also tasked w