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Private Data Accessability and Availability

Comment 13th July 2010

Currently several Government Departments and Agencies and other Public Bodies are allowed to provide personal information to effectively anyone willing to pay for that information.  While some information should be made avaialble to relevant 'offical bodies' such as the Police availability of infomration to commercial or 'non-official' bodies for payment of a fee should be restricted.

Example – private car park contractors should not be able to obtain personal details linked to a specific car to pursue unpaid parking charges.  Should their be a criminal or security reason for any operator needing to know the details then these should be refered to the Police.  Information held by the DVLA should only be made fully available to certain official bodies such as the Police, any other commercial bodies should only be able to request access to details that do not identify the individual unless the individual gives thier explicit concent such as when applying for insurance on line, and even then the insurer should provide such protection that the individuals personal details are not to be disclosed unless as a result of formal criminal/legal proceedings.

 

 

Why does this matter?

The premise for this is that Personal data needs to be held and used by Government and 'Official' bodies such as the Police to provide a service to the public.  But such data that is personal in nature should only used between the department and the individual and should not be available to any wider audience unless obtained in respect of criminal proceedings.  Holding of Data is vital for moving to a more online and connected society, but in providing data to public bodies they are being entrusted with that data.  At present it feels like the state can demand the data and has the power to do what it wants with that data, without any individual right of veto.  The state provides a service to the public and as such any data provided and held should be seen by the body entrusted with it as a obligation to secure it and not a right to demand and use it.

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