Monday, 27 July 2009

A single source of truth

Shadow Home Secretary Damian Green gave a speech to the Centre for Policy Research on the 15th July 2009 where he laid out Conservative opposition to the:

"three streams of state control ..... toxic to our basic freedoms. These are:

# A national security approach which puts policing needs above all others
# The transformational government agenda
# The "Identity Management" programme."

He then lists the 28 databases set up by government in response to these 'frameworks'.

Mr Green criticises innocent people's DNA being held on the DNA database and the overarching powers included in RIPA. He dislikes proposed data sharing using national databases and criticises the enormous costs involved.

He reminds us that the Conservatives have floated the proposal to use open source databases hence doing away with a central server. He also dislikes the creation of the term, which is evidently used in official records without sarcasm, 'Single Sources of Truth' which equates to a single identity hub. Mr Green states that the citizen should be able to hold his own identity information and be responsible for giving access to any audit trail. He repeats the Tory promise to scrap ContactPoint, the NIR and ID cards.

The rhetoric is impeccable but there are no new concrete proposals. Also there are problems with the ability of every citizen to control their own information, such as the very elderly. Some of the 28 databases he mentions are useful such as PAYE! What are the Tory proposals for ANPR, the Intercept Modernisation Programme, fingerprints in passports and so on?

Damian Green's speech proclaimed liberty and was full of genuinely admirable sentiment but hopefully we shall be given a few more concrete policies fairly soon.

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