Three things we know about personal data collection

Jenni Russell writes about three things we know about personal data collection (from the Guardian):

This is only the worst manifestation of an official intrusion into our lives that is just about to hit us, but of which we seem strangely unaware. The UK’s network of speed cameras will soon be able to track every journey we make by road under the automated number-plate recognition system. Mobile network records can already place us, at any time, within 100 yards of our phone’s location. The ID database will record every time we go to a hospital or a benefit centre, fill in a prescription or a draw a large sum from a bank. The children’s database will give access to every piece of gossip or fact about our children or their family, perhaps in perpetuity. It will record that an older sister may be alcoholic, or that a father is in jail, or that a 14-year-old is thought to be having sex. Nobody will be able to break free of this information about their past.

Most alarming of all, for its breadth of knowledge about us, the NHS database will give hundreds of thousands of staff the ability to discover when we lost our virginity, the drugs we’re on, our mental health history. And none of this information will be safe, because we know three things about the mass collection of data. The first is that the authorities will mine it where it suits them. The second is that the data will be lost. And the third is that it will leak.

Well said.

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One response to “Three things we know about personal data collection

  1. The news that the government now wants to track our mobile phone calls, texts, emails and internet browsing habits has got me enraged. For the past 11 years, this government has sought more and more control over its citizens, from installing 4.2m CCTV cameras, to the suggestion that we must respond to more and more intrusive questions when they complete the next census. It has simply got to stop.

    On this occasion, I have done something about it, in my own small way. I have written an article outlining what the government is seeking to do and my views. But, I have also produced a ‘draft’ letter that can be personalised and sent to local MP’s. I am urging other likeminded people to reproduce the article, to include their own comments, after all, not everyone will agree with all my comments and then publicise it. Maybe we can start a programme where people start to bombard their MP’s with a demand that they do not support the latest data communication bill. The link is here if you would care to take a look.
    http://www.power-to-the-people.co.uk/2008/10/public-call-time-big-brother-britain/

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