ContactPoint Database To End Anonymity In UK?
The ContactPoint database is a UK project that seeks to include far-ranging information about every person under the age of 18 in Britain. The £224 million computer system was announced in the wake of the death of Victoria Climbié, who tragically fell through the cracks of different support services in that country.
However, it has now emerged that police officers, council staff, head teachers, doctors and care workers will use the records to search for evidence of criminality and wrongdoing to help them launch prosecutions against those on the database - even long after they have reached adulthood.
Investigators opening a ContactPoint file would be able to see at a glance where they had lived throughout their childhood, where they had gone to school, what contact they had with social services and who their parents or carers were, and use the information to link them to known gangs or areas of criminal or anti-social activity.
Privacy advocates point out that the launch of the ContactPoint system was itself delayed when data discs containing 25 million child benefit records was lost.
Civil libertarians are also concerned by clauses in ContactPoint's bylaws that apparently allow unlimited use of the system by investigators who can "trawl" for illegal activity. Also, it is not clear when (or whether) archived records will ever be released or destroyed.
(Poster for Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
What would a society look like if dominated by information provided by a source like the ContactPoint database? In the Buck Rogers television series, the future society of Earth lacked anonymity entirely. One of the key benefits that Rogers could provide is that he was completely outside their system, which identified every person absolutely. See the discussion around 41:30 in the episode Buck Rogers: Awakening (Part 2).
From Child protection database 'will be used to prosecute young people'; thanks to Moira for the tip and references for this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/26/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...' - Manly Wade Wellman, 1938.
Cyborg DragonflEye At Your Command
'The dragonfly responded like a toy airplane, taking off and heading east...'
Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...' - Roger Zelazny, 1980.
Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.' - Robert Silverberg, 1969.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...
Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'
'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.
Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'
Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?
Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'
DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'
Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.
Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories