Feeds

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

Controversial ContactPoint hit by 'user interface problems'

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
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
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.