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Bad Idea: UK Launches Database Of Info On Every Child

from the who-thought-this-was-a-good-idea? dept

Apparently, some folks in the UK haven't yet realized that no database is fully secure, and any large database of info will almost certainly be abused at some point. In what appears to be a stunningly bad idea, the UK has put together a giant database including info on every child in the UK. The goal is for it to be used by childcare professionals, but you can bet it will be misused quite soon. As internet law expert Michael Scott notes: "Who thought this was a good idea? And why?"


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 7:35pm

    I'm surprised that swarming politicians aren't screaming "child predators" yet.

     

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  2.  
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    whiterook, May 18th, 2009 @ 7:58pm

    i don't disagree, but am wondering where all this corruption is coming from. Inside the government or someplace in china? Seems to me what's missing as it relates to the internal threat is a regulating body that holds the uk government to some threat of fines and imprisonment, should a breach ever occur. What about ethics and compliance as it relates to the proper usage of this information, and some rock solid technology to prevent its misuse? Is this laughable? I don't know why we can't responsibly use the information. Let the laughs begin i guess...

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 8:27pm

    Is this possibly an offshoot of the immensely popular program here in the US known as "No Child Left A Dime" ?

     

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  4.  
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    Dan, May 18th, 2009 @ 8:28pm

    DB perversion

    It seems that the UK politicians second favorite fetish, after their penis, are data bases. When their first no longer works well they revert to the second, both are a bad idea. The first causes their gene line to perpetuate and the second places the general public at risk. If we could only convince then that Russian roulette is a better hobby we could make progress.

     

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  5.  
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    random, May 18th, 2009 @ 8:39pm

    is the juice worth the squeeze?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    no no if its a government project then its a good idea.

    the ONLY risk is from the internet

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re:

    /sarcasm

     

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  8.  
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    Bettawrekonize, May 18th, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    Just the other day a bunch of hackers stole 160,000 Health Records from the UC Berkeley Database.

    http://www.crn.com/security/217400074;jsessionid=YMZN5MA4DKAM2QSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN

    (a nd my potential "conspiracy" take on this).

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=191967

     

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  9.  
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    AZ, May 18th, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Medical Hackerbase

    This seems no different to me than the medical databases they are compiling in the US. Their rationale is the same, to help doctors perform more efficiently. I was at the doctors last week and he had his head buried in his laptop inputting my data and barely made eye contact with me. I was defiantly data.

    Iím sure my data is secure from hackers and will never be misused by insurance companies for nefarious purposes. HA!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 10:54pm

    They forgot something very basic...

    something used by almost any individual of any level of intelligence, with a very large scope of varieties of decisions included.

    A pro vs. con list.

    Pros: enables more money to be spent on a matter of very little priority, finding the 1 in big# of children abused.

    Cons: enables more children to be abused.

    The con list could be much longer, but it seems rather unnecessary considering the list has already put the decision into quite the conundrum.

     

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  11.  
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    anon, May 19th, 2009 @ 12:28am

    As someone who will be required to add to the data - no its not some evil conspiracy, that's childish and paranoid. But it is alarmingly dumb. I totally agree about govt obsession with data, and apparent lack of understanding of the same. Apart from the security issues, it seems usual for the intended, usually good intent for the data to slide into other less wanted purpose.
    I have heard that ethnic data held by doctors in Rwanda and the Netherlands was gathered by purpetrators of genocide. It was recorded to help understand patient's needs. go figure.

     

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  12.  
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    Bettawrekonize, May 19th, 2009 @ 12:30am

    well, as I commented on the Ron Paul thread, "This stuff should be encrypted. We have perfectly good, secure encryption algorithms (AES 256), it's just that these entities are too cheap to encrypt it (since proper encryption and decryption is a processor intensive, time consuming and hence expensive process)."

     

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  13.  
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    Techsupoort, May 19th, 2009 @ 12:36am

    good-idea

    If its a government project then its a good idea.

     

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  14.  
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    Bettawrekonize, May 19th, 2009 @ 1:02am

    "If its a government project then its a good idea."

    If the government manages this database as well as they manage everything else I think we'll be in a lot of trouble.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2009 @ 1:19am

    I was pro-indepedence (from Europe) before the E.U. starting fighting our corner against our own government against ridiculous databases like this. Out with Gordon and every last Labour swine.

     

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  16.  
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    JP_Fife, May 19th, 2009 @ 1:59am

    It's a bad idea but it should be noted it's an English database of English children, not a UK database.

     

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  17.  
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    Headbhang, May 19th, 2009 @ 2:40am

    How long till...

    How long till some scatterbrained official leaves an unencrypted CD with all the information in some random bus/train?

    Puhleez let it then show up somewhere on the net for the benefit of all the criminal paedophiles...

     

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  18.  
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    col, May 19th, 2009 @ 3:54am

    The Reg has been highlighting the idiocy of this for some time now. It is a fact of modern life that any datum held online, no matter how protected, will eventually leak - and the Right Honourables have a less than stellar reputation for digital prophylaxis. They seem to be constitutionally incapable of keeping their constituent's secrets, which is a good thing in a government (see the recent brouhaha in the UK press re MPs ludicrous and dishonest use of public money) but points to a more fundamental lack of understanding of digital media.

    Parenthetically: maybe we should be demanding /less/ IT-savvyness from our governments

     

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  19.  
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    col, May 19th, 2009 @ 3:57am

    Sorry, edit "their constituent's" out, it was part of a longer post which wouldn't have made much sense to your average American reader...

     

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  20.  
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    Angel (profile), May 19th, 2009 @ 4:19am

    I would be Very Upset

    As a parent I would be very upset to know my children's information was being stored like this.

     

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  21.  
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    lulz, May 19th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure you missed the [/sarcasm].
    And did you know that you can directly reply to a comment instead of copy-pasting it into another comment, thus breaking up the thread and making it a pain to track what you're saying?

     

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  22.  
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    weneedhelp, May 19th, 2009 @ 7:22am

    I am shocked. So few comments against collecting data on every innocent child. Shameful. Data like this in one area, WILL BE ABUSED by any as*hole that has access to it. I love the way the word conspiracy is thrown around as if they don't happen. You believe the little conspiracies, like Madoff, but the bigger ones are just not true, or couldn't possibly happen. Governments love their citizens, and would do no harm to them. Fools.

     

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  23.  
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    SunKing, May 19th, 2009 @ 7:43am

    Re: I would be Very Upset

    Me too. I wanted spreadsheets!!!!

     

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  24.  
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    idobek, May 19th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    It gets worse

    The government, realising that there where serious security concerns, implemented a "shielding" system: children considered at risk can have their records hidden by their local authority. Once this has occurred anybody trying to access information on that child will only be able to confirm they exist; to access further information they will have to apply to the governing body (at which point it is not clear how or if the information will be disclosed). This process entirely defeats the stated aims of the project.

     

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  25.  
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    Pete Townshend, May 19th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    I swear, I was just doing research, I'm not a pedophile. This new database sounds like a great idea (though it's hard typing with just one hand)...

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    AZ, May 19th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Until someone uses an obvious password they can remember and all that time, money and effort is gone.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    David, May 19th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Hacked

    Do I hear the geeful rubbing of hands from every paedophile in the country? I bet, even now, there are devious folk just waiting to have a crack at it! Disaster waiting to happen, if previous government schemes are anything to go by.
    I'm in the UK and it never fails to amaze me what the jokers we elected for a government come up with next

     

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