Feeds

Privacy core to ID success, ICO warns

Shouldn't be added as an afterthought

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Government needs to make privacy and data protection principles a core component of its IT specifications, according to the assistant information commissioner.

Speaking at a Kable conference on identity management infrastructures, held on 9 July 2007, Jonathan Bamford said that designing in these principles would make ID management more effective and enhance society's confidence in the systems.

"Public confidence is like personal privacy," explained Bamford. "Once you've lost it, it's virtually impossible to retrieve it."

He told the audience that it is possible to build trust through effective ID management, and "by designing systems where you can actually design in data protection compliance rather than bolt it on as an afterthought". He said that one of the issues the Information Commissioner's Office is very keen on involves the use of privacy enhancing technologies and engineering ingenuity to enhance people's privacy.

"Those across central government in charge of procurement of large IT projects need to specify the fact that they care about people's privacy," he insisted.

Bamford argued that this is being done in other countries and the UK government needs to show that it values privacy to the same extent. In Austria, for example, he said that government databases hold only fractional personal ID numbers to prevent the state from building up a profile of an individual.

He also advised that consent has to be specific, informed and freely given, and organisations should not pretend they have consent when people have no real choice in how their data is used.

Gareth Crossman, policy director at human rights pressure group Liberty, said that it wants the ICO to have a far more proactive role in ensuring data protection. He warned that the detail and proportionality of information management programmes are often built into secondary legislation, over which parliamentarians also have limited power.

Another concern highlighted by Crossman was that once a database is in existence, there will always be incentives and pressures to use it more widely than its original purpose.

His claim countered that of Dr Duncan Hine, director of national identity scheme integrity for the Identity and Passport Office, who argued that the National ID Register would only hold ID information, not entitlement information, and that transaction logs would be limited so that they could not be used to plot individual behaviours.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.