Menu
UK government CIO warns against more giant databases

UK government CIO warns against more giant databases

U.K. Government CIO John Suffolk has given a blunt warning about the danger of creating more giant government databases.

The man charged with bringing coherence to government IT strategy issued his warning about the risks of large databases to a meeting of MPs called to discuss "The Surveillance Society".

He made his comments just hours before Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed to MPs the loss of 25 million personal records on two discs being transferred between the HM Revenue and Customs and the National Audit Office.

Suffolk said the "UK public sector is more advanced than other sectors in doing joined-up technology. The oldest, at 33 years old, is the police national computer. We work at a national scale."

But he added, "To put more eggs in single basket is a foolhardy approach. The best way to protect data is to say: this data is for specific purpose, put protection around [it].

"Only those that need legitimate access can access the data. The more people get access the more complex it becomes. If we can avoid yet another large-scale citizen database, where we have a number of those already, that would be a wise thing to do."

Although Suffolk did not mention the government's plans to introduce a national identity card scheme or the scheme to provide every citizen with an electronic health record, his words are likely to be cited by critics of these programmes.

The government CIO also warned against any moves to create an overarching citizens' database. "There is a balance to be struck. It's nonsense to assume or even think about a central database or central clearing house," Suffolk told MPs.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Brand Post

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments