Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Database State Britain unwrapped by Rowntree

From the Register again

Ministers spending billions on unlawful databases

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust

A report on the Database State PDF here claims that 40 out of 46 key government databases are not fit for purpose, and 11 of those are "almost certainly illegal under human rights or data protection law and should be scrapped or substantially redesigned".

The report comes as the government prepares to sneak legislation on data-sharing back into parliament despite an apparent U-turn on the idea earlier this month.

Sneaky government trying to bring back clause 152 by the back door. Jack Straw is a shyster and this shows his absolute determination to bring it back in.

Amongst the report’s key findings are:

* A quarter of the public-sector databases reviewed are almost certainly illegal under human rights or data protection law
* Fewer than 15 per cent of the public databases assessed in this report are effective, proportionate or necessary, and again, most lack a proper legal basis for any privacy intrusions
* Britain is out of line with other developed countries, where records on sensitive matters like healthcare and social services are held locally not centralised as in Britain
* Many of the benefits claimed for data sharing are illusory, whilst little account is taken of the serious harm that this approach can inflict on vulnerable individuals
* The current spend on IT within the UK public sector is over £16bn a year on IT, with (approximately) £100bn planned for the next five years: yet only about 30 per cent of government IT projects succeed.

Full Article in the Register here

Many of the problems with lawfulness stem from the fact that data-sharing – or processing - of some form appears to be going on despite existing Data Protection strictures against it.

It is for this reason that the government introduced the now infamous clause 152 into the Coroners and Justice Bill, currently before Parliament. Although that clause has been temporarily withdrawn, this report highlights several dozen reasons why it is inevitable that it will be back.

Because of a strict interpretation of the law, government Ministers are presently deploying billions of pounds of taxpayer dosh – and are quite possibly doing so illegally.

The trouble is that those who should be taking action are now increasingly looking the other way. The report says: "There is a sense in the senior civil service and among politicians that the personal data issue is now career-threatening and toxic.

Sounds about right for our darling politicians, Honestly we voted for these idiots?

Who let them loose You the electorate did Any regrets?

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