Monday, March 07, 2005

Child database will breach ECHR

The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has said that the government's proposed database on all children in the UK risks breaching the European Convention on Human Rights.

" in a highly detailed, 11-page submission to the education and skills select committee, Thomas has expressed technical and legal concerns which threaten the database's creation.

His chief fear is that the database breaches Article 8 of the convention, which states that somebody's personal information should be subject to strict rules governing their privacy and confidentiality.

In addition, Thomas said the government's decision to put the names of every child in England and Wales on the database was 'difficult to justify as a proportionate response'. As such, the size and scope of the government's plans for the database makes it likely they will breach the convention.

Thomas also warned that the sheer size of the database would make it costly to keep up to date and might not help authorities to spot children at risk because it 'increases the size of the haystack when hunting for a needle'."

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