EMBARGOED until 00:01 Monday, 23 March 2009
Campaign group NO2ID , originator of the slogan ‘Stop the database state’, is vindicated by a new report published today by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd .
The report, commissioned from a group of leading academics, industry and privacy experts, concludes that more than 8 out of 10 national government databases managing major public service functions present serious dangers to privacy and should either be scrapped completely or the schemes stopped and be subject to a major overhaul.
Of the 46 databases considered by the report, the authors conclude only 6 are broadly acceptable in privacy terms, and more than 10 should be scrapped entirely, including the ID card scheme, the centralisation and sharing of all health records by the NHS, and the ‘children’s databases’ – ContactPoint and the electronic Care Assessment Framework (eCAF).
Phil Booth, National Coordinator of NO2ID  said:
This survey shows just how vast the database state has grown while your back was turned. It threatens the privacy, personal security and freedom of everyone in the UK.
Government now sees collecting and collating information about the people as a primary function: snooping is the first resort. To stop the database state, the surveillance reflex must be changed.
Notes for editors:
1) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. See http://www.no2id.net/dbstate.php for a list of ‘database
state’ initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing, and http://www.no2id.net/datasharing for how it all fits together.
The term ‘the database state’ was first used in this context in 2004 by Guy Herbert, NO2ID’s present general secretary.
2) Foundation for Information Policy Research, ‘Database State: a report for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd’ (York; 2009)