Monthly Archives: October 2011


Tom Espiner writes for ZDNet UK: The UK government has announced funds to ‘lubricate’ its trusted identity scheme, in which citizens authenticate themselves across multiple public services. The ‘Identity Assurance’ single sign-on scheme will get £10m over two years from the government’s £650m cybersecurity budget, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude told a conference in central London on Monday. “Last week I earmarked £10m from the cybersecurity programme to provide extra resources for this programme,” said Maude, adding that the Identity Assurance programme was different to the scrapped identity cards scheme. “We think the government can be involved, must be involved, not as the big brother in this process, in the way that got associated with the identity cards agenda, but actually as a little brother, supporting, helping, providing some backup, and some lubrication from funding,” said Maude.

UK allocates £10m to new ID scheme


Dick Vinegar writes on the Guardian web site: Who would have thought it, the Department of Health is encouraging NHS organisations “to accelerate creation of summary care records (SCRs), with the aim of having them in place for most patients by 2013-14”. And 9m records have already been uploaded. This is a miracle. At the general election 18 months ago, both Conservatives and LibDems were equating the SCR with the satanic identity card as a monstrous unmanageable database, and were vowing to abolish it. (And when they came to power as the coalition, they did abolish the identity card.) For some years before, Dr Ross Anderson of Cambridge University had been campaigning against the SCR on security grounds, and had won the ear of the British Medical Association. A bit later, Dr Trisha Greenhalgh wrote a magisterial academic report on the SCR’s shortcomings. With the government, academia and the BMA […]

Why SCRs are a long-term plan for long-term conditions


Rebecca Todd writes in eHealthcare Insider: NHS staff breached data protection policies on average five times a week over the past three years with some posting patient information on Facebook. Freedom of Information Act requests by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch reveal at least 806 separate incidents at 152 NHS Trusts where patient medical records were compromised between in the last three years. Patient information was posted on social networking sites in 23 incidents, including one at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust where a medical staff member posted a picture of a patient on Facebook. That staff member was one of 102 who were dismissed as a result of the breaches. The report also identifies 129 incidents of NHS staff accessing or disclosing the medical details of a colleague or family member. … Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles said the research highlighted how the NHS was “simply not […]

NHS staff breach patient data daily



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Aayush Arya writes at The Next Web: Steve (or someone close to him) spotted a loophole in the California vehicle laws. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix the issued number plate to the vehicle. So Jobs made an arrangement with the leasing company; he would always change cars during the sixth month of the lease, exchanging one silver Mercedes SL55 AMG for another identical one. At no time would he ever be in a car as old as six months; and thus there was no legal requirement to have the number plates fitted. All that for a license plate! How about that, huh? As to why he went to all this effort in the first place, Walter Isaacson noted in his biography of the Apple co-founder that Jobs may have wanted a numberless license plate to prevent himself from being tracked — […]

Mystery solved: Why Steve Jobs’ car never had a license ...


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Neal Ungerleider writes in Fast Company: Biometrics are the next big thing in government and homeland security. But the recent theft of the personal information of 9 million Israelis living and dead–including the birth parents of adoptees and sensitive health information–could have big ramifications for foreign governments. Every time a foreigner comes to the United States, their biometric data–fingerprints and photographs–are processed into a massive database called US-VISIT. The service prevents identity fraud and helps find criminals, and countries all over the world have adopted similar systems. Now Israel’s has been hacked, leading to the leak of personal information of nearly every single citizen there (even some dead ones) onto the Internet. Authorities in the Middle Eastern country announced the arrest on Monday of a suspect responsible for the massive data theft. He’s a contract worker at the Israeli Welfare Ministry who was allegedly engaged in small-scale white collar crimes […]

The Dark Side Of Biometrics: 9 Million Israelis’ Hacked Info ...


SA Mathieson writes in The Guardian: The government is encouraging health service organisations to accelerate creation of summary care records (SCRs), with the aim of having them in place for most patients by 2013-14. The Department of Health says that 9.12m SCRs have been created, but that 33.81m people have been sent letters about the records. Only a small proportion, 1.25%, have chosen to opt out of the system. He notes: SCRs, which are designed to provide basic demographic and medical information on patients for emergency and out of hours care, have met with opposition from medical and privacy groups. This has focused on the fact that patients automatically have their data used to create such records unless they actively opt out. The coalition government has made it easier to do this by sending the necessary form with the information letter, but decided against asking all patients to opt in.

DH encourages NHS to get on with summary care record ...



Suw Charman-Anderson writes in FirstPost: The focus on returning control and ownership of our personal data to us is growing. In the UK, Mydex is creating Personal Data Stores which will provide a secure centralised location for your details such as address, credit card details, phone number and preferences. Users will choose who they allow to access that information and, when it changes, have only one place to update. The idea is for Mydex to act as an intermediary between users and, for example, utilities suppliers or e-commerce sites. It works on three principles: your personal details are yours. They sit on your side, in your database you can use the same data quickly and easily, again and again. The principle is ‘input once, use many times’ the data you store — and how you share it – is always encrypted, safe and secure. Only you can see your data. […]

Start-ups put your personal data back your hands



Ewan Foskett writes in local newspaper the Royston Crow: THE controversial automatic number plate recognition ‘ring of steel’ has almost been completed around Royston with the majority of cameras installed. It is unknown if the devices are all fully operational and Hertfordshire Constabulary will not reveal the location of the cameras – which will make the town the first in the country to be encircled by ANPR cameras. … The cameras which will monitor all roads in and out of the town have not been without their critics with national pressure groups pushing Royston to the forefront of a civil liberty battle. Big Brother Watch, No CCTV and Privacy International have all opposed the cameras, concerned that information will be retained and examined by data mining software. As well as lodging a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, they say there is no precedent for their installation.

ANPR ‘ring of steel’ tightens around Royston



The Press Association carries a brief report on the Third Reading of the Protection of Freedoms Bill: The Government was accused of putting the rights of criminals ahead of protecting the public as its civil liberties measures cleared the Commons. The Protection of Freedoms Bill, which cuts back the size of the DNA database and reforms the child protection regime, received its third reading by 320 votes to 227, majority 93. As the Bill completed its passage through the Commons, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that high-risk criminals not currently on the DNA database would be tracked down and added to it. She said: “This Government is determined to cut crime and reduce the risk of terrorism at the same time as we restore the freedoms and the liberties that define British society.” But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper condemned changes to the DNA database, which cut the period for […]

Government ‘puts criminals first’


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According to the Braintree and Witham Times: Essex Police bought two number recognition plate cameras for £1 each after a controversial scheme was abandoned in Birmingham. The force will use the cameras for operations during the Olympics to police events such as the mountain biking at Hadleigh. The Metropolitan Police also bought 22 cameras while Strathclyde bought nine after Project Champion which saw 218 cameras set up in largely Muslim areas in Birmingham was scrapped last year.

Essex: Police bought ANPR cameras


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The Huffington Post reports: Theresa May suppressed a Home Office report that found changes to the DNA database would make it harder to catch murderers and rapists, according to Labour. The House of Commons is expected to pass the Protection of Freedom Bill on Monday. Under government’s plans only adults convicted or cautioned will have their DNA stored indefinitely. Those charged but eventually cleared will see their DNA stored for up to five years. But Labour have said unpublished Home Office research showed that 23,000 people every year, who under Labour’s system would be on the DNA database but under government plans will not be, will commit further offences. Labour also say the report showed 6,000 of those a year will go on to commit crimes including rape, murder and manslaughter. The analysis of the Home Office report was conducted by the House of Commons library for shadow home secretary […]

Theresa May ‘Suppressed’ Home Office DNA Database Report, Say Labour



The Press Association reports: A broad catch-all discretion enabling police to keep the DNA of innocent people indefinitely for reasons of national security should be scrapped, MPs and peers have said. Ministers have failed to provide a justification of why this power is necessary and proportionate, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said. Its report on the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which is due to go through its remaining stages in the Commons next week, said the proposals regarding the retention of DNA should be reconsidered. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the plans to curb the state’s right to intrude in private lives would see almost one million innocent people have their names removed from the national DNA database. Under the Government’s plans only adults convicted or cautioned will have their DNA stored indefinitely, while those charged but later cleared will see their profile stored for up to […]

Call to scrap DNA retention measure


According to the Health Service Journal: NHS Coventry is preparing for the upload this month of patient information from local GP practices to create its new summary care record system. The system will be going live on Tuesday 11 October 2011. The primary care trust has warned patients who do not want to have a summary care record they have one week left to opt out of the scheme.

NHS Coventry prepares for summary care record upload


According to the Irish Examiner, the Eire government is introducing an “ID card” for benefit claimants: A new ID card is being rolled out from next week in a bid to stamp out social welfare fraud. The biometric card will carry information on a chip to ensure those claiming payments are actually entitled to them. The Public Services card is being piloted in a number of social welfare offices in Tullamore, Sligo and Dublin. The first cards will be issued to members of the public from next week. The card will have a person’s name, photograph, signature and PPS number on it. It will also store information electronically such as date and place of birth, gender, nationality, all former surnames and all former surnames of their mother. The card will verify an individual’s identity while at the same time making it harder for people to use false identities.

New biometric ID card aims to prevent welfare fraud