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Saturday, 25 October 2008

Government Databases.

I surely am not alone in being scared of our government, be they Labour, Conservative or any other political party, being ever more willing and in some cases already doing, huge one point databases am I?

They either plan or have implemented all encompassing databases which will include every man, woman and child resident in this country, whether they be nationals (defined as born here irregardless of creed, race or faith) or tourists (business or otherwise). Another database will contain every child and so on.

The number of 'lost' names in recent times is scary enough but a single point database (which means only one entry for access to) containing who knows what of every individual just fills me with dread. I don't know how hackers (defined as those who break into such databases).

We already have the police database, the passport database, the drivers database (think DVLA), a doctor's database and hospital databases, registered with banks and so on. We are first on the goverment radar after being registered at birth and from that time to death, which is also registered) we voluntarily sign up for most, if not all of the services mentioned above. We leave information at various shops where we purchased something. That signals to the bank that at that moment in time where we were, what we  bought and what we spent. All that sort of thing while not voluntary is just part and parcel of everyday life. Having all that information stored in one place and accessed  via one single means is just plain scary. It is bad enough that the number of databases holding all manner of information on individuals exist and some link up so verifications can be made. The fact that this huge database is government run (for now until they decide to sell the information as will surely happen within 25 years of it starting) and owned make it all the more scary.

Our government, or put another way our elected officials, has an appalling track record regarding such things and it is widely and well known that the government, at any level from Westminster to local councils, are useless at governing  any IT project be it small or large. This huge database comes under the banner of the latter.

During the last year various government departments 'lost' private and confidential information. They 'lost' laptops and notebooks with monotonousness regularity usually containing unencrypted data. Their track record is appalling.

I,  for one, find these huge government mandated databases scary.

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