A couple of weeks ago, the British Computer Society (BCS) released a poll showing two-thirds of Britons say their trust in the government to look after personal data has fallen in the light of recent revelations. At the same time, parliament’s joint committee on human rights painted a picture of a government with a frighteningly gung-ho attitude to new data-sharing procedures. Its report criticised the approach of passing laws containing very broad enabling provisions, while relying on secondary legislation, generally unscrutinised by parliament, for data protection safeguards.
Even more than the recent data loss fiascoes, this is a symptom of a government out of step with growing public awareness of the power of information. If IT-based reforms – let alone schemes like the ID card – are to retain credibility, the government must recognise these concerns. Read more….