Feeds

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

Controversial ContactPoint hit by 'user interface problems'

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.