The Chief Constable who led the report that found a secret Scotland Yard unit held information on families of 17 justice campaigns admitted it would be "distressing" for relatives to learn that their details were being held.
Mick Creedon, Derbyshire Chief Constable, added that it "must seem inexplicable" for the families who have had their details held by the force.
One reference in the report was to an unnamed individual planning to go to a funeral, even though "there was no intelligence to indicate that the funeral would have been anything other than a dignified event".
Mr Creedon said: "Unless the information could have prevented crime or disorder it should not have been retained."
Despite the report finding no evidence that covert operations targeted grieving families, the fact information that had no relevance in preventing crimes was kept, was heavily criticised.
More top news
Sleet and snow for some parts of Scotland. Elsewhere in the UK will be cold, cloudy and with some showers.
At least 52 people have been killed after a fight broke out between two rival drugs gangs in a Mexico prison.
Lord Coe has accused Nestle of hypocrisy following its decision to withdraw sponsorship from the IAAF Kids' Athletics Programme.