Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who do you trust with your data?

My landlady is lovely. I've only really spoken to her about four times but she's very nice: solicitous of my welfare and keen to fix any problems with the flat. However - I have rented from some right sod in the past, including one chap who was using our (student) house as a mailing address to commit housing benefit fraud from. Would I trust him to have access to the details on my ID card? According to the IPS I might have to. And the kid behind the counter in Blockbusters. And "Retailers of all kinds, including Internet companies".

But the real sting in the tail is this - according to section 9 of Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards act:

"The following may be recorded in the entry in the Register for an individual-

(a) particulars of every occasion on which information contained in the individual's entry has been provided to a person;

(b) particulars of every person to whom such information has been provided on such an occasion;

(c) other particulars, in relation to each such occasion, of the provision of the information."

Renting a house because you've left an abusive spouse or parent? It's on the register. Renting videos that, unbeknownst to you, have been pirated? It's on the register. Paid for information about a medical condition, or bought something to spice up your marriage online? It's on the register.

With a huge recruitment campaign to staff the 69 new "processing centres" it is inevitable that some less than savoury folks will get jobs. Security clearances will pick up those with existing criminal records, but not the abusive spouses, stalkers or those that can be induced to sell or give away information who will be applying for these jobs. And even those who are model employees, acting in the best of faith, can still end up handing your data over to criminals and extortionists.

Hand on heart - who do you trust with your information? Because as much as I like my landlady, there are things I don't even tell her.


David said...

Is this a Freudian slip by the IPS?
"The scheme would also be a useful tool in helping to maintain and disrupt the activities of terrorist networks."

Why do they want to maintain terrorist networks?!

Auntie Em said...

So they continue to have a reason for ID cards - duh!