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July 01, 2009


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"Compulsory ID cards scrapped" but not the database which is the really baddy. Also to facilitate cost savings it will utilise data from other government databases which HMG already knows is largely inaccurate. Hardly in the spirit of the DPA so the Orwellian govt continues...
Now if hunting Alan Johnson down with dogs was a lawful response to anyone being inconvenienced, damaged or wrongly accused of anything, or any data leaking - I'd be slightly less negative.

George Laird

Dear Paul

I am so glad that Mrs Avery has been allowed to keep her allotment and to continue to enjoy it.

Sometimes little stories like this perk people up.

I hope she has many more years of peaceful enjoyment.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Kay Tie

"NONE has been found. In spite of the vast publicity, no one has been harmed by the losses."

You just can't say that. None of the lost CDs have made their presence known subsequently, for sure. How much of the lost data has been used for crime, we simply can't say.

There are some cases we are absolutely sure of. A data loss in the DWP exposed the NI numbers and other details of employees. This data was then used in a massive tax credit fraud.


Where did the data for that office come from? Well, it must clearly have been a data loss or a data theft. Either way, a large lump of supposedly-secure data found its way into the hands of criminals.

How many of the other frauds are due to similar data breaches? We don't know, but I am willing to bet it's not "none", and I'm also willing to bet that getting an answer to that question from Government departments will be like pulling teeth (or getting an ex-speaker to disclose expenses, if you like your metaphors more current).

Kay Tie

"That is a cause for celebration. No?"

Yes, indeed. That this Government has given up - for now - on the universality of it is a Good Thing. I shall raise a glass to what is becoming apparent as one of the few decent people sitting in the cabinet.

"My objections to ID are likely IT foul-up and the cost."

And they haven't gone away, alas.


I believe Government are hard to work with on IT projects mainly because decision making is so slow and bureaucratic. Increased time to implement = increased costs.

Paul W

Paul, even if none of the information has been found is it acceptable for it to be put onto a cd and be lost in the first place? Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't in the future. You cannot have tens of thousands of people accessing the data and still keep it secure.

The example I gave means 100 families now have to look over their shoulders because their private data was compromised. I don't call that no harm.

I agree completely about the governments inability to run a major project. I have yet to see one which comes in on time, to spec and on budget. The IT press comment all of the time regarding the inability of government to do this.

Paul Flynn

Paul W, this issue has hosted several threads about missing data. Millions of bit of information has been lost. NONE has been found. In spite of the vast publicity, no one has been harmed by the losses.

My objections to ID are likely IT foul-up and the cost.

Paul Flynn

KayTie, I said "compulsory" ID cards to be scrapped. That is a cause for celebration. No?

Paul W

I'm betting that government and business particularly financial will make it more and more difficult to prove identity and then creating a express method by using the ID card.

The case in N.I. regarding the police data input clerk who looked up vehicle details and then gave it to his terrorist buddies highlights the dangers of all of these databases. I do not like them and I don't want my details on there where thousands of people can easily get my personal info. If it isn't the Home Office losing the data its someone stealing it.
Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/01/police_database_snooped/

Paranoid...me? Nah.

Kay Tie

Alas, Paul, ID cards haven't been scrapped: the system is still being built, at enormous cost. Filthy Foreigners still have to have them.

The database still exists. The money is being spent. The only difference is that Alan Johnson has given up on the idea of forcing the rest of us to carry them. But you know as well as I do that Alan Johnson cannot bind a future parliament. It's perfectly possible that a future government, keen to respond to some atrocity, merely says that we all will have to carry ID cards.


"Anyone any idea in what circumstances we might use it?"

Pre-emptive strike on North Korea?

(That's NOT a suggestion, btw - just a hypothesis)

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