UK Liberty

Dear BBC

Posted in ID Cards by ukliberty on February 20, 2009

BBC:

The overall cost of the scheme over the next ten years is estimated at about £5.1bn.

That is not the overall cost of the scheme.  It is the cost of setting up and operating the issuance of passports, biometric visas (or “ID cards for foreign nationals”), and identity cards. 

There is no official, public estimate of the total cost of the scheme to the economy.

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British Computer Society concerned about data sharing provisions

Posted in database state, privacy by ukliberty on February 20, 2009

E-health Insider:

The British Computer Society and the Information Commissioner’s Office have joined the growing swell of concern about the data sharing provisions of the Coroners and Justice Bill.

The BCS says it is concerned that the Bill, which is now making its way through Parliament, “runs counter to the intentions and provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998” and could undermine trust in government IT initiatives. …

About time

Posted in database state, privacy by ukliberty on February 20, 2009

Out-law.com:

ICO strengthens criticism of Government data sharing

The Government’s controversial plans to share personal data between departments and with the private sector are “too wide” and the safeguards “weak” according to privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

When the Bill’s proposals were first published, the ICO was less critical.

“Some have suggested that the Bill’s information sharing provisions represent an unwarranted interference with the privacy of personal information. We do not agree. The provisions of the DPA will continue to apply to the sharing of personal information whether undertaken within the scope of an information order or otherwise,” said its opinion, published on 22 January.

The ICO now believes that the proposed new law poses some dangers to privacy and for Government’s accountability for the processing of personal data it has collected.

“The Bill’s information-sharing provisions are too wide, and its safeguards relatively weak,” it said. “The provisions should only apply in precisely defined circumstances where there is a legal barrier to information sharing that would be in the public interest.”

Rosemary Jay, a privacy law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, warned of similar concerns when the Bill was published.

What we’ve lost

Posted in everything by ukliberty on February 20, 2009

The Convention on Modern Liberty:

The Convention on Modern Liberty has released a detailed report compiled for us by the UCL Student Human Rights Programme, listing all the liberties we’ve lost in the past decade. You can download the ‘Abolition of Freedom Act’ here.

The report was released by Convention Co-Directors Henry Porter and Anthony Barnett yesterday at a press conference with David Davis.

See here for a powerful report on the document in today’s Independent.

Just publish it, what have they got to hide?

Posted in freedom of information, ID Cards by ukliberty on February 20, 2009

The Telegraph:

A Government review in to the viability of the ID cards programme must be published after a four year battle to keep it secret.

The so-called Gateway Review, a Whitehall audit, is believed to be critical about the affordability of the £4.7bn scheme [of course that isn’t the final cost] and how well it can work.

It was drawn up in 2003 and 2004 but the Government rejected a request under Freedom of Information, first made in January 2005, to publish it.

In 2006, the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, ordered the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) to release the documents but the case was taken to the Information Tribunal and then the High Court which sent it back to the Information Tribunal for reconsideration.

In a ruling yesterday, the Tribunal said the Government must publish or lodge an appeal within 28 days. …