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12 May, 2006

What holes?

On one side, the Government is forcing through legislation on the National Identity Register, demanding private information from individuals and making it freely available to government – and other – agencies.  They insist that it's all confidential and that data will only be available to those with legitimate access requirements (as defined by the state, not the individual...).  Trust the government, sheep.  They know best.

Yet on the other side, the Government's own Information Commissioner is horrified by the commercial trade in private data. In one instance, a researcher was being paid £120,000 per month to trace people for finance companies and local councils. If anyone took legal action, the statutory fine in a magistrates' court would be up to £5,000. Still think the state will adequately protect your personal details?

Okay, the ID Cards Bill contains stronger penalties for improper access, but still, the best defence is to abandon the idea of a centralised database altogether.

[Update 11:20: The Guardian reports that animal rights terrorists, sentenced yesterday (12 years each – it's a start) for crimes culminating the 'kidnapping' of a corpse, obtained key information on their victims from a member of staff at the DVLA.]

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