An excellent piece from Victoria McDonald in the New Statesman dealing with the aspect of database-mania that is most often overlooked – security:
I firmly believe that before committing any of this information to a national database, the public must be assured that it is secure.
The children’s index is, after all, a system that will store the details of 11 million children and be available to teachers, social workers and others with a “need to know”. The checks and balances, we are told, include ensuring all users undergo training and an enhanced criminal records bureau check. Every request will be audited.
But if these security fears are groundless, why has the education minister, Lord Adonis, said: “Children who have a reason for not being traced, for example where there is a threat of domestic violence or where the child has celebrity status, will have their details concealed”?
(We’ll overlook the fact that she has fallen into the ‘child protection’ trap and repeated the government’s fallacy that the Index – or ‘ContactPoint’ if you want to be modern – was a response to Victoria Climbie’s death. The correct timeline is here)