c/o No2ID UK –The Cabinet Office has outlined plans for a new Public Data Corporation which the government intends to set up this year. The Cabinet Office press release states:
“The Corporation will, for the first time, bring together Government bodies and data into one organisation and provide an unprecedented level of easily accessible public information and drive further efficiency in the delivery of public services.”
Little detailed information is available at this time.
SCOTLAND’S BACK-DOOR ID CARD BATTLE
Among the most dedicated opponents of the Blair government’s Identity Cards Act were the SNP. However, as the government of Scotland they seem to have other ideas, as Geraint Bevan, coordinator of NO2ID Scotland, explains:
UK ID cards are no longer valid, but National Entitlement Cards (ID cards by another name) continue to be issued in Scotland. These multi-purpose cards, which masquerade under a wide range of guises including concessionary travel and YoungScot cards, are issued by local authorities and provide access to various services.
According to ministers, the cards are voluntary and alternative means of accessing services should be made available, except for concessionary travel. In practice, many schoolchildren have been told that they *must* apply for a card to buy school meals – or even to enter school premises.
Each card is linked to a “Citizens Account” unless card-holders explicitly reject data-sharing on the application form. Citizens Accounts are records of personal information stored on a network of databases operated by Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
Even when not linked to a Citizens Account, the cards are privacy deficient. For example, when used as a bus pass, personal information about the card-holder is transmitted to the bus operator and details of the passenger and journey are recorded and logged on central government
The scheme was introduced under the previous Labour/Lib Dem coalition, but has continued under the current SNP administration.
Related news: TrackCare, A new Patient Management System for Scotland goes live.
IN OTHER NEWS:
ID Card Report Was Supressed
The publication of a report which raised concerns about the ID-scheme was delayed – leading to the suggestion that it was suppressed in the run up to the general election. The report by the Independent Scheme Assurance Panel (ISAP) was given to the Home Office in late 2009, but
only published this month. A February 2010 response to the ISAP report has also been released.
NHS (National Health System)review includes Opt-Out forms
The Summary Care Record system will make medical information about tens of millions of patients in England available to over 800,000 NHS staff. Patients have a right to opt out of having a Record. Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats promised to scrap Summary Care Records before they took power.
A judgement by the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was illegal for the Government to keep the DNA details of those arrested – but not convicted – for an offence.
EU/US: Transatlantic eHealth agreement signed 01-17-02011–Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes and United States Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Washington to promote a common approach on the interoperability of electronic health records and on education programmes for information technology and health professionals. [The US healthcare bill was repealed two days later.]
Border Agency plans £36.4m biometric collection contract
Destruction of ID card data to cost £400,000