Thursday, March 26, 2009

Security flaws halt work on ContactPoint

From the Times: Security flaws halt work on ContactPoint
"Security flaws have halted work on the internet database designed to hold the details of 11 million children and teenagers.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) admitted last night that it had uncovered problems in the system for shielding details of an estimated 55,000 vulnerable children.

These include children who are victims of domestic violence, those in difficult adoptions or witness protection programmes and the children of the rich and famous, whose whereabouts may need to be kept secret.

ContactPoint is a £224 million online database that contains the names, addresses, dates of birth and details of schools, GPs, social workers and support services of all 11 million people aged under 18 in England. It is intended to improve child protection...

Some adopted children whose identities should be shielded are listed on the database by both their original and their adopted surnames, with a link between the two."

"In other instances, shielding simply disappears from the records of vulnerable children every time that the database is updated automatically from central government databases, such as the school census or the child benefit database. "

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