Feeds

Info commissioner says comms database is leap too far

Thomas demands proper debate

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said today that government plans for a communications database are a step too far and need proper public debate.

Speaking at the launch of the regulator's annual report Thomas said: "I am absolutely clear that the targeted, and duly authorised, interception of the communications of suspects can be invaluable in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime. But there needs to be the fullest public debate about the justification for, and implications of, a specially-created database – potentially accessible to a wide range of law enforcement authorities – holding details of everyone’s telephone and internet communications."

Thomas said recent examples such as the extension of the DNA database and increasing use of ANPR cameras showed the government was grabbing more and more private data without proper public, or Parliamentary debate.

The ICO is today filing enforcement notices to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the Ministry of Defence asking what progress they have made to tighten up procedures following their recent data breaches.

The ICO annual report (pdf) also revealed the regulator received 2,646 complaints in the year and closed 51 per cent within a month, but 36 per cent are still open. An informal solution was found for 48 per cent of cases in the year, while 14 per cent ended with a decision notice being served and 33 per cent were ineligible for some reason.

Of the 395 decision notices closed in the year, 30 per cent resulted in an upheld complaint, 25 per cent in a complaint not upheld and 45 per cent saw partially upheld complaints.

Freedom of Information requests closed in the period were mostly to government - 39 per cent to local government, 29 per cent to central government, ten per cent to police and criminal justice organisations, nine per cent to health bodies, four per cent to education organisations and just one per cent to private companies.

Public awareness of the issues seem to be improving - the ICO reckons 90 per cent of people are aware that they have a right to see information held about them. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.