Feeds

UK.gov hoovers up data on five-year-olds

What I did on my holidays, and all the other days

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

When asked to cite specific statutory justification for collecting data in potential breach of the DPA, Ms Backoe cited Department of Health "guidance". She referred to the Children Act 2004 which she claimed "sets out standards and expectations about how services for children and young people should be developed strategically and organisationally".

Sections 12 and 29 of this Act include provisions whereby the Secretary of State may order the setting up of databases - and have already been used fairly extensively in respect of the Contactpoint project. In theory, they allow for government to demand whatever information it sees fit to demand in respect of children, and to pass it on to any third party. Nonetheless, the regulations do not appear to include any powers to demand information on parents.

She also alluded to DoH "guidance" that local areas should "aim for 100 per cent coverage of children in the locality using whatever information systems are available".

Whether the intention of this exercise was to be intimidatory or not, the net effect appears to have been just that.

The approach is not dissimilar to that already employed by the DoH in respect of patient records being uploaded to "the spine" (pdf). To achieve 100 per cent coverage of any data source is an objective that those working in IT will know is impossible without statutory backing: but to date, the DoH have attempted to circumvent this by the simple trick of not telling patients they have a right to opt out.

Government response to concerns by the BMA and patient groups was set out by the Chief Medical Officer, who demanded that GPs provide the names and addresses of those wishing to opt out to central government, on the grounds that their dissent was not "correct".

We also asked the DoH for comment. However, apart from an initial reaction that this project was nothing to do with them and probably belonged to the Department for Children Schools and Families (it doesn’t!), they have so far not come back to us.

If successful, this approach will be rolled out to the rest of England and Wales. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
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
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.