Feeds

Citizens rail against government data sharing

Expect government to respond around May or June

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A new poll shows that Britons are becoming increasingly concerned about the type of personal information held by the government.

Just under two thirds of respondents said they are against the government centralising information about citizens so it can be shared between different government departments.

The 'State of the Nation' poll carried out for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, for which ICM surveyed 2,288 people face to face, was released on 20 February 2010.

The poll found that 61% of those surveyed believe police should not be allowed to keep a person's DNA profile if they have not been charged with an offence, compared to 45% in a similar survey by the trust in 2006.

More than half of those polled oppose recent government proposals to retain a person's DNA profile for six years if the person has not committed an offence. However, 92% said if a person is convicted of a serious crime, such as rape or murder, then their profiles should be kept indefinitely.

The survey revealed substantial opposition to medical records being held on a centralised computer system, with 55% against this, compared with 53% in 2006. Most medical records are currently controlled by GPs and hospitals, but health services are introducing centralised systems such as England's Care Records Service and Scotland's Emergency Care Summary.

Other findings show that 52% of participants think the introduction of identity cards is a bad idea, compared with 33% in the 2006 poll, and most people believe that the government should not be allowed to access the public's phone, email and internet records. The 2006 figure of 82% has risen marginally to 83%. The Home Office's Interception Modernisation Programme is working on enhancing existing government capabilities to access data about phone and web use.

Chris Pennell, senior analyst at Kable said: "The results of the research echo recent research by Kable into citizen data security. The survey, based on responses from 1,000 individuals and 240 public sector organisations, indicated that 83% of respondents were concerned about the storage and sharing of citizen data by public sector organisations, while 84% said they were in favour of government having to seek permission before sharing their data.

"While there is a high level of familiarity with UK and EU privacy laws within public sector organisations, this has not stopped problems with data security from occurring. This indicates that there is a need therefore for a change to the current model, one which puts the citizen in control of their personal data, opening up the market for suppliers who can provide IT built around citizen consent."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.