Friday, September 01, 2006

The Children's Index will turn all parents into suspects

Later this month the Information Commissioner will be publishing a report I co-authored with FIPR colleagues on the growing sprawl of state databases that invade children's privacy. You can see a preview at 7.35pm this evening on Channel 4, and in articles in the Daily Mail, Times and Guardian.

Andrew Grimson in the Telegraph is not impressed by the government's plans:

The Government proposes to create a central register of all children and their parents, in order to detect the small number of children who suffer atrocious abuse, of the kind that led in 2000 to the death of eight-year-old Victoria ClimbiƩ. That unbearable case showed the need for good local arrangements so that police officers, doctors and social workers talk to each other about those children who give them cause for concern. But hard cases make bad law, and can also lead to the creation of utterly irrelevant databases. The technocrats and control freaks who devise so many of the arrangements under which we live have used the tragedy of Victoria, who was abused by her great-aunt, to treat every parent and other person charged with the care of a child as a potential suspect.

Interesting that Blair is trying to fight back today by claiming that the government should surveil children from the womb onwards.

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