Monday, March 23, 2009
Britain's Database State: Quarter of databases are 'illegal' and should be scrapped
One in four government databases illegal One in four Government databases are illegal under human rights or data protection and should be scrapped immediately, a panel of experts have warned. Another six in ten have "significant problems and may be unlawful" while just one in eight are given a clean bill of health. The UK has become the "most invasive surveillance state, and the worst at protecting privacy, of any Western democracy", the most detailed study yet on data collection reveals. Systems including the DNA database, National Identity Register, the children's ContactPoint index and the NHS Detailed Care Record are "fundamentally flawed", they conclude. The scathing report says a quarter of public sector databases are either disproportionate, run without consent, have no legal basis or have major privacy or operational problems. (link via telegraph.co.uk) It is a report that should make a difference but sadly I don't think the government will take any notice especially after reading the response from a Ministry of Justice spokesman in an article from BBC News, Call to scrap 'illegal databases': But the government says the report contains "no substantive evidence" on which to base its conclusions. A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the government was "never losing sight" of its obligations under the data protection and human rights acts. "It takes its responsibilities seriously and will consider any concerns carefully, adapting existing safeguards where necessary," he added.