BBC Panorama: You can run… but can you hide? Collecting data on children
I tuned in to tonight’s BBC Panorama programme [27 October] late, just in time to hear reporter Simon Boazman explain how the government plans to collect information on children. He asked his own daughter some of the questions that are included in a questionaire to test something or other. Did she go to church? What religion was she? Did she believe in God? I’ll watch the programme again to check (you can see it online for the next week using the BBC’s i-player), but my mind was boggling.
… from January the government will start rolling out a huge database called Contact Point containing a file on each of England’s eleven million children.
Every file in this compulsory national database will hold a child’s name, address, date of birth, unique ID number, parents’ address, school, doctor and any other services that are working with the child.
Potentially over 300,000 people who work with children will have access to Contact Point and, as Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, tells the programme, “you only need one of the hundreds of thousands of users to be careless or corrupt or downright criminal and bad things can start to go wrong”.