Law Commission - Data Sharing between Public Bodies

Law Commission - Data Sharing between Public Bodies

We recommend that a full law reform project should be carried out in order to create a principled and clear legal structure for data sharing, which will meet the needs of society. These needs include efficient and effective government, the delivery of public services and the protection of privacy. Data sharing law must accord with emerging European law and cope with technological advances. The project should include work to map, modernise, simplify and clarify the statutory provisions that permit and control data sharing and review the common law.
The actual report made these comments on children's data:

Child safeguarding
11.22 Another important and highly sensitive area for data sharing is child safeguarding. The NSPCC told us that effective information sharing could not be driven by the law alone, but should be factored into legal, professional and organisational arrangements. Professionals who work with children must have clear instructions, both in law and guidance, and have regular training to develop cross-professional understanding. Professionals must not fear the consequences of inappropriate but well-intentioned sharing. Serious care reviews often discuss instances where different organisations held many separate pieces of disparate information raising low levels of concern, which if seen together would have
pointed to a more serious issue that required immediate action.

11.23 Although professionals have some understanding of information sharing laws in their specific areas, they do not necessarily understand the law and practice of other professionals. Current law and guidance fails adequately to provide solutions to the tensions that arise between different services. The NSPCC expressed particular concern in relation to the impact of the decision in R (AB and CD) v Haringey London Borough Council on data sharing for early prevention.The NSPCC invited us to consider whether the various guidance documents properly reflect the law and assist practitioners to understand it.

11.24 The Office of the Children’s Commissioner also supported a review of all the statutory gateways relating to individual data sources to enable a rationalisation of legislation or guidance as necessary, seeing a need for nationally and locally agreed information sharing protocols.
So, the NSPCC dislikes it when the common law correctly assesses the damage caused by inappropriate information sharing.

If the law can appreciate that a family can get very distressed by state intrusion why cannot the NSPCC appreciate the same? After all, there are children involved . . .


It's the pot and kettle show!

The NSPCC were the bunch who were too busy organising a staff Christmas party to act on an urgent referral to save Victoria Climbie, then allegedly falsified records to cover up their incompetence. Their track record since then has been to shout a lot, get grants to produce policy based evidence, shout louder to get bigger grants to run dishonest PR campaigns, pay big bucks to staff and do nothing remotely useful to protect children.

They may be the lowest of the low, but are not alone in running a child protection racket. Just take a look at the accounts of the big children's so-called charities.

It is indeed time the data theft issue was addressed as parents in Scotland no longer feel safe taking children to see the GP as children's and their own health records are now being routinely shared with the head teacher without any sort of consent process.

Where the "child protection" threshold is reached, then the sharing of data without informed consent is non contentious and means the child is considered "at risk of significant harm". In any other case, data sharing without informed consent is unlawful, breaching both Article 8 and the DPA.

I am deeply disturbed by the consistent failure on the part of so called professionals to obtain formal consent from parents before sharing all sorts of sensitive personal medical data with unaccountable and untrained named persons, especially when we know how insecure schools' data management systems are and how cavalier many teachers are when it comes to confidentiality.