Feeds

UK.gov child data-sharing scheme delayed (again)

Controversial ContactPoint hit by 'user interface problems'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

ContactPoint, the government's planned database to cover every child in England and Wales, has been delayed again, but officials said fears over the potential for massive data losses were not to blame this time.

The scheme had been scheduled to go live in April this year, but was delayed until October by government-wide inquiries into repeated data losses, most notably by HMRC. Yesterday the Department for Children, Schools and Families said user interface problems now mean ContactPoint won't be ready until January.

Brennan told MPs: "We have identified some issues as a result of recent system tests which we are working urgently to address." ContactPoint has been built by CapGemini.

The database will store and share contact details between schools, social services, doctors and other agencies who have contact with and keep records on children.

It won't contain specific case details, but will keep a record of when a child is seen, and allow workers to get in touch with each other if they believe it is necessary. Critics have argued that provisions allowing "for the prevention or detection of crime" will mean police and prosecutors could use ContactPoint to trawl for suspects or to stigmatise young people based on their history.

The Conservatives scorned government claims the latest delay was not caused by security problems. Shadow families minister Maria Miller said: "There were clear indications in February of significant security concerns with this database. Only now, with just weeks to go until the project is supposed to go live, have they finally agreed to pull back to try to iron out some of the problems. Ministers now need to come clean and confirm whether this delay is because children's personal information is at risk."

The Liberal Democrats called for the project to be scrapped altogether, saying the HMRC data loss reviews proved the government could not be trusted on security.

ContactPoint is the flagship of the "Every Child Matters" initiative launched by the government following the murder of Victoria Climbié. An inquiry found her abuse could have been stopped if departments who held information on her case had communicated. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.