Exercising the power of well-being

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Stirling Council's attempt to legitimize


In December 2010 initial discussions took place with a business analytics company to pull together appropriate data sets from across the Council to identify families in need. This was conducted in a pilot project. Information from the following Council information systems was consolidated and analysis of those children and families has proved highly valuable in
decision making regarding services and interventions.

Service Area ----- System
Social Services ----- SWIFT
Education ----- SEEMIS
Housing ---- Northgate
Youth Services ----- Cognisoft IO
Community Wardens ----- APP Civica
Research Team ----- Government demographic data,
CACI ACORN Segmentation data
Substance Misuse ----- Government demographic data
Forth Valley GIS ----- Gazetteer

Given the successful outcome of the pilot project,the Council now wish to enter into a contract to fully develop this reporting system with a view to a go live date at the Public Protection Hub in Larbert in January 2013.
Apparently,
it was possible to see, at a glance, the full history of a vulnerable child on the screen. The information allowed decision making staff and case workers to see school attendance, attainment, previous addresses, changes in name, housing repairs, police reports pertaining to the address and Criminal Justice data sets, to name but a few.
Copying and pasting from the pdf is a pain but have a read yourself...it isn't very long.
 
Key bit is:

3.7 In November 2012 the Assistant Chief Executive (Care, Health & Wellbeing), Assistant Chief Constable and the Council’s legal adviser met with representatives from the Information Commissioner’s Office. The purpose of the meeting was to apprise the Information Commissioner’s Office of the Council’s plans to develop this reporting system. The Information Commissioner’s Office endorsed the proposal to exercise the power of well being to legitimise the collection, sharing and use of personal data on all children for the Vulnerable Children and Young People Project.
Question is . . . would the Court of Human Rights endorse the Scottish ICO?

Somehow, I doubt it.
 

Admin

Administrator
Stirling Council is clearly abusing / misusing the powers in a piece of legislation (LGA) that is essentially trounced by the overarching DPA and Article 8. Perth & Kinross is no better and has been caught with its trousers down again by the Scottish Review.

Somebody is going to end up in court over this and the ICO's judgement (and appreciation of the law) needs to be seriously questioned.

The Scottish Government no longer bothers to conceal its contempt for its citizens, and its erstwhile "tablet salesmen" (to quote a friend) are rapidly sliding into out-and-out dictatorship mode. I have lost all respect for them.

The Parliament isn't a lot better as only one or two of the hapless 129 are taking this abuse of power remotely seriously. Let's hope the Lord Advocate stops them in their totalitarian tracks or we're all doomed.
 

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
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I am totally lost PDF Sheila's link PDF are they saying in quote one that they don't have the power to share information on all children under Scottish law but do have the power (second quote) to do so under their own powers??
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Stirling Council’s powers
3.9 Stirling Council derives its powers entirely from statute. To ensure that it does not act beyond its powers, the Council must ensure that all of its actions are provided for in statute.

3.10 There are no express statutory powers to collect, use and share data in relation to children and young people provided for in statute. Further, the consultation paper on the proposed Children & Young Person's Bill, which was published in July 2012, stated at paragraph 120 that the Act will not contain new express statutory powers to share information between services where there are concerns about children
& young People. Instead, whilst acknowledging that “information sharing can be a complex and, at times, confusing legal environment for practitioners” the consultation paper provided that “the intention is that information sharing would occur within existing legal frameworks”.
3.11 Section 69 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 provides that Local Authorities are empowered to do anything which is "calculated to facilitate, or is conducive to or incidental to the discharge of any of its functions”. This enables the Council to look to the service or function which the data sharing supports for its implied power to data share.
3.12 Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 the Council has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked after children and to promote the welfare of children in need. Data sharing clearly will support the discharge of these functions and so the data sharing may be legitimised but only for looked after children and children in need. The Vulnerable Children and Young People Project seeks to share data about all children and so the terms of The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 are insufficient to legitimise the Project
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The Power of Well-being
3.13 The Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 provides the Council with a discretionary power to “do anything which it considers is likely to promote or improve the well-being of:-
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a. its area and persons within that area; or b. either of those.”
3.14 The term "well-being" is not defined in the Act but there is some assistance to be found in the statutory guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers on the 2003 Act, to which Local Authorities are obliged to have regard (see Appendix 1). This refers at Paragraph 1.4 to the Act as an "important part of the Scottish Executive's local government modernisation agenda and its drive to see continuous improvement in public services" and to “enable local authorities to work and deliver in partnership with other agencies and communities”. It also specifically refers at Paragraph 1.6 to social factors such as “looking after the needs of children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable” as a key factor which would contribute to the promotion or improvement of well-being.
3.15 The guidance makes it clear that this power is a broad ranging power and refers to it as "a power of first resort", to be used when there is doubt about whether existing powers would enable a particular course of action or service delivery.
The power is subject to various limitations none of which apply in these circumstances.
3.16 It is considered that the Vulnerable Children and Young Persons Project is a legitimate use of the power of well-being.
Scheme of Delegation
3.17 Stirling Council's Scheme of Delegation expressly reserves to Council the power to make a decision to exercise the power of well-being. Council is invited to exercise the power thereby making the collection, sharing and use of personal data on all children for the Vulnerable Children and Young People Project within its powers.
 
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Admin

Administrator
The Local Govt Act powers are trumped by the provisions of the UK Data Protection Act and Article 8.

They are either too stupid to appreciate this or are blatantly lying.

We always knew they would try to pull this stunt as they are nothing if not predictably stupid, disingenuous or both. :lalala:
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
I think it is a try on...

The fact that it is mentioned in recent Scottish Government's Data Management Board papers suggests that the "wellbeing power" is intended to be used to legitimize sharing everything on everybody, everywhere - IF - they are allowed to get away with it.

Back in 2003 when this power was created, "wellbeing" had not yet been defined. Handy that the CHYP Bill does just that with its SHANARRI indicators.

And remember, these are not just being applied to every child, but every child, citizen and community.
 

Admin

Administrator
So Scotland is fast becoming a rogue quasi state with no respect for international law?

Better watch out or we'll get invaded without a UN resolution. We have oil, remember.

:laser:
 

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
Maybe I am straying slightly but I was trawling in an attempt to find the ICO take on this as it isn't given in the doc and I came across THIS PDF doc from the ICO office. The quote is from the section relating to Scotland.
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Embedding information rights in the primary and secondary education systems of the United Kingdom.
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Conclusion
Scottish education is experiencing change nationally and locally. Local and school-specific practices present difficulties for crafting a national model.

For example, Moray Council has closed the computing departments in schools and moved the subject into the more generic 'business department'. The information rights agenda may have a different focus.
In Stirling Council, the IT department will teach technical computing skills but not information rights.
On the other hand, the Curriculum for Excellence has only recently been introduced. It gives increased flexibility to schools and teachers.
Resources thus may be welcomed, should they fit within the new requirements. Qualifications are currently being developed, which could incorporate attention to information rights.
 
3.11 Section 69 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 provides that Local Authorities are empowered to do anything which is "calculated to facilitate, or is conducive to or incidental to the discharge of any of its functions”.
I think that should read "...to do anything legal which..."

Otherwise they could just bump off troublesome parents and take the children into care if they thought that was better for the children.
 

Admin

Administrator
I think that should read "...to do anything legal which..."

Otherwise they could just bump off troublesome parents and take the children into care if they thought that was better for the children.
Many a true word spoken in jest and all that...

The self appointed wellbeing Stasi seem capable of anything, legal or otherwise.
 

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
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Yet another relevant nugget from my trawling of the ICO site (in this instance it is advice to the Welsh government on the gathering of biometric data in schools) that is relevant to the this thread I believe.
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The advice provides some detail on the requirement to obtain parental consent. We would point out – in addition to the guidance provided within the advice – that schools and FEIs must ensure that they satisfy themselves of the identity of any parents giving their consent.
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So where does that leave our stirling parents and those in Perth and Kinross where implied consent was assumed ??
 
I don't think there is such a thing as 'implied consent'. As regards sensitive and personal data the requirement, as I understand it, is 'informed consent, freely given'. That means fully understanding what you are being asked to do and being fully free, without fear or favour, to refuse to participate.

In my opinion the whole database state had been built on the lie that people have in some way consented to it's creation. They have not consented. They have been deceived, tricked and manipulated into giving over large amounts of data.

The problem is weak data protection laws and an underfunded ICO. All of this suits Government who seek to turn us into commodities by monetising every aspect of out lives.
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
I don't think there is such a thing as 'implied consent'. As regards sensitive and personal data the requirement, as I understand it, is 'informed consent, freely given'. That means fully understanding what you are being asked to do and being fully free, without fear or favour, to refuse to participate.

In my opinion the whole database state had been built on the lie that people have in some way consented to it's creation. They have not consented. They have been deceived, tricked and manipulated into giving over large amounts of data.

The problem is weak data protection laws and an underfunded ICO. All of this suits Government who seek to turn us into commodities by monetising every aspect of out lives.
With you all the way until that second last bit about the ICO.

Data Protection Act is not a barrier for information sharing in NHS, says ICO



The Data Protection Act 1998 is not a barrier for information sharing but an enabler, according to Dawn Monaghan, group manager of strategic liaison at the Information Commissioner's Office.

Speaking today at a Westminster Health Forum focussing on the "technology revolution" in the NHS, Monaghan said there were many myths within the industry on information sharing, and one of them was that the Data Protection Act (DPA) is a barrier.

"The DPA is not a barrier, it is an enabler," she said. "The drive behind it was to free up the market and to be able to use data which is personal in a protected way to enable that data to be shared.

"Not sharing information can often mean people are unprotected. The DPA is all about mitigating risk, but in the health sector the DPA is becoming like the health and safety legislation – an excuse not to do things, not to change."

Monaghan went on to dismiss the idea that civil monetary penalties were served on organisations that shared data, and stated that the ICO has so far not placed a fine on any organisation for data sharing.

"There haven't been any cases where two organisations have shared data and breached the DPA," she said. "There may be cases out there but we haven't found them or fined anyone."

The ICO group manager added that a data sharing agreement does not provide legal indemnity and that under the DPA, NHS trusts do not necessarily need patients' consent to share information.

"There are other ways of doing it around consent, and consent is not informing people, informing should be done whether you have consent or not," she added.
 
Absolutely right to sound a note of caution about the current ICO:

ICO response to Law Commission: Data Sharing Between Public Bodies consultation.

http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultations/~/media/documents/consultation_responses/ICO-response-to-Law-Commission-Data-Sharing-consultation.pdf

Our experience suggests that public attitudes to data sharing are complex, and that individuals are not necessarily reluctant for their data to be shared – particularly where there is an obvious benefit to them. A good example might be the sharing of data between the Passport Office and DVLA, allowing drivers’ identities to be verified without the inconvenience of sending sensitive documents through the post – a service that we understand has proved very popular with drivers. Recent research carried out by the Scottish Government seems to suggest that individuals are willing for their data to be shared for altruistic purposes such as medical research but less willing for it to be shared with pharmaceutical companies for private gain, for example.
GIRFEC, presumably, falls under the 'altruistic' definition.
 

Dad23

Well-known member
The ICO is a joke.

I'm not pro-EU, but I've got to admit that without the EU we'd have even less protection than we have now! It would be like living in the US.
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Public Acceptability of Cross-Sectoral Data Linkage

This is how they go about their "research" Mayfly.

A report of recent public deliberative events to explore the views of the public on the acceptability of linking personal data for statistical and research purposes, thereby identifying particular sensitivities and potential barriers to public confidence and exploring mechanisms for overcoming concerns.
[my bold]

Delphi technique?
 

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
Our experience suggests that public attitudes to data sharing are complex
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But the law isn't complex , the DPA, Human Rights are pretty straight forward and the fact we are signatures to the uncrc :puke: isn't complex. Are they saying that public attitude trumps law/hr/uncrc?.
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Recent research carried out by the Scottish Government seems to suggest that individuals are willing for their data to be shared for altruistic purposes such as medical research
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The ICO saying "seems to suggest" suggests he/she is unfit for office.
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