Surveillance database state Scotland


Having been asked about data security and retention at one of the NO2NP roadshows recently, it struck me just how little attention has been paid to these aspects of the GIRFEC Named Person scheme. It would appear that no security assessment has been carried out on the risks of this massive IT undertaking (or it has been concealed from the public, like so many other aspects of the scheme), but we do know that the data will be archived and therefore retrievable, possibly indefinitely.

The damning Deloitte data security review of ContactPoint, GIRFEC's older disgraced sibling (which took campaigners two years to have released under the FOI Act) covers many of the issues associated with government run databasing projects, as does the 19th Report of the JCHR (which has no equivalent in Scotland) and comments made by the former ICO Richard Thomas about the proposed databasing of every child in England.

I thought it would be useful to bookmark some articles and links relevant to the data collection agenda that lies behind GIRFEC and the Named Person surveillance scheme for ease of reference.

Firstly, there are two excellent articles by Bill Buchanan from Napier university:

Named Persons - Big Brother or a Caring Society? (May 2015)
Named Person in Scotland - One Large Social Experiment? (July 2015)

Also this paper by Eric Stoddart (University of St Andrews):

The Named Person: Surveillance and the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland[pdf download]

Show me yours? This Liberty campaign video highlights the nonsensical 'nothing to hide' argument made by proponents of the IP Bill. Yet many of the opponents of the Westminster snoopers' charter inexplicably also support the Named Person universal surveillance scheme in Scotland, citing the same old 'nothing to hide' nonsense. So surely if they have nothing to hide and 'it saves just one child/terrorist victim' (that other favourite fascist sound bite), they should be cheerleading just as loudly for the IP Bill, Prevent strategy and stop and search...same difference, same totalitarian sledgehammer, same propaganda. Hypocrisy or what?

Meanwhile, these three short Archrights videos and the Database Masterclass are still excellent introductions to / reminders of the dangers of uncontrolled citizen databasing by the state, starting with the children.