Privacy, what privacy?

Just when we thought we'd seen the end to computer privacy issues, we stumble across three highly controversial flash points that...

Just when we thought we'd seen the end to computer privacy issues, we stumble across three highly controversial flash points that stand to make IT directors' jobs even tougher.

John Riley

Groundswell

First, the current Health and Social Care Bill, in which, as it stands, clause 59 removes data protection rights for all medical records.

This, in theory, opens the way to sell identifiable records to private sector organisations, such as insurance companies.

Second, the Criminal Justice and Police Bill from section 49 onwards seems to give unrestrained freedom to image the hard disc of any computer found during a lawful search, such as in Customs.

This negates restrictions on trawling for personal data.

Finally, the Social Security Fraud Bill's amendment IN 2.(1). It would seem that any bank, utility, or credit card agency will have to provide the DSS with remote terminals to download bulk data which, in practice, could be traceable to individuals.

Is this all a bad dream? Innocent, honest and upright citizens surely have nothing to fear in having all personal details available to anyone that wants to buy them?

However, just try that line at your next dinner party. Piggy-in-the-middle IT directors stand to lose more than their propriety, they stand to lose their friends as well.

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