Feeds

UK Supremes question vetting scheme

New rules for enhanced CRB checks

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Britain's top judges have warned that new background checks to vet millions of adults for contact with children carry a "real risk" of infringing human rights and undermining public confidence in protection measures.

The comments about the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) were made today as a nursery worker who lost her job because of an enhanced CRB check lost her case against the police.

Although the new Supreme Court ruled that the police were right to disclose she had once been accused of neglecting her child because it was directly relevant to her work, it sounded a strong note of caution about the ISA in its judgement.

In future, "the police must give due weight to the applicant's right to respect for her private life" the judges said, and chief constables should allow individuals to make representations before making an enhanced CRB disclosure.

They extended their concerns over government vetting to the ISA, which will call on the existing CRB system.

"The widespread concern about the compulsory registration rules for all those having regular contact with children, as proposed by the Government in September 2009, demonstrates that there is a real risk that, unless child protection procedures are proportionate and contain adequate safeguards, they will not merely fall foul of the Convention [on human rights], but they will rebound to the disadvantage of the very group they are designed to shield, and will undermine public confidence in the laudable exercise of protecting the vulnerable," wrote Lord Neuberger, one of the panel of five judges considering the case.

The nursery worker, referred to by the Court as "L", attempted to sue the Met under the Human Rights Act, arguing that the enhanced CRB disclosure had infringed her right to privacy.

Enhanced CRB checks allow disclosure of investigations that never led to a charge. They are used for occupations that involve contact with children and vulnerable people.

Although she lost, the woman's solicitor said she welcomed the judgement because it would mean more care will be taken by police in future.

Liberty also welcomed the ruling.

"The Supreme Court has thankfully brought some wisdom and balance to the current frenzy around employment vetting. At a time when more people than ever before have been made subject to CRB checks, and the police seek to hold information forever, this judgment strikes a welcome note of caution and fairness," said legal officer Anna Fairclough.

"Our children are better protected by a rational and balanced scheme than by one that disclosed gossip and rumour without safeguards."

The full judgement is here (pdf). ®

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
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.