Feeds

Government grants itself even more data sharing power

But ever so quietly

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The government's proposals to increase data sharing between departments will be buried in the Coroners and Justice Bill - which is expected to be presented to the House of Commons today.

The bill is expected to include measures covering the government's response to the Data Handling Review, which we covered here. In essence these will allow more data sharing between different arms of government - because we all know that current arrangements are too tight and too rigorously followed, don't we?

Recommendation 8 (a and b) was accepted by the government - it gives the Secretary of State the right to remove "an existing legal barrier to data sharing".

Although the government response generally agreed that departments should admit who else they are sharing information with there were three provisos - national security, confidentiality agreements and market sensitivity. The last two have been routinely used to suppress information about government IT contracts.

Lobby group No2ID expects the Bill to be pushed through its first reading on Friday.

Phil Booth, NO2ID National Coordinator, said:

Rather than protecting our personal information, as it should be, the government is cutting away safeguards for its own data-trafficking convenience. This is a Bill to smash the rule of law and build the database state in its place.

Burying sweeping constitutional change in obscure Bills is an appalling approach. Having proved - and admitted - they cannot be trusted to look after our secrets, they are still determined to steal what privacy we have left. Parliament needs to wake up before it has no say any more.

A Ministry of Justice Spokesperson said:

Sharing data is essential for the delivery of efficient and effective joined-up public services, tackling crime and protecting the public. The new power will lead to a more streamlined process for policies requiring data sharing whilst at the same time allowing fuller parliamentary scrutiny. Any draft Order would require Parliamentary approval and a Privacy Impact Assessment.

Additionally, the Information Commissioner would have been invited to comment on the proposals. This will ensure that any potential privacy issues and risks are identified and examined. The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public interest and proportionate to the impact on any person adversely affected by it.

Although the government has gone some way to increase the ICO's powers and funding, these proposals will also increase the burden on the watchdog. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?