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A guest post by Sheila.
In October 2010, Kenneth Roy of the Scottish Review (possibly the only real journalist left in Scotland) began a long running series on the surveillance nightmare that is Big Brother Scotland and I began to collate his articles and other related coverage on this forum thread.
Earlier this month, the Scottish Nazi Party published the draft Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill which will give this Blairite, surveillance-in-the-guise-of-child-protection, e-government agenda statutory weight.
The Scottish Review articles caused quite a stushie - Scottish Government web pages were suddenly marked “archived” - yet nobody in the MSM recycled Kenneth’s lengthy series of articles ( strange as this is a pretty regular occurrence). Predictably, MSM coverage of the draft legislation (from the telly to the local rag) has headlined as increased free nursery provision, the main agenda kept very much in the shadows...
EVERY child is to have their “wellbeing” (as defined by ever-expanding “SHANARRI” indicators) recorded by a state-employed “named person” (who cannot be their parent). Those found to be at risk of not achieving their state defined ,Curriculum for Excellence, outcomes (see the outside of the wheel) will be selected for the appropriate early intervention.
Despite the demise of eCare (at great public expense) due to some adverse publicity, these vast data sets are still to be shared “electronically within and across agency boundaries”.
What of the Data Protection Act? Well the ICO has got rid of that that little “barrier” with this update on Information Sharing Between Services in Respect of Children and Young People.
Silly me! I only learned very recently that “the DPA is not a barrier, it is an enabler” and that "The drive behind it was to free up the market and to be able to use data which is personal in a protected way to enable that data to be shared.” Please note English readers, both these quotes are from the UK ICO. The Scottish Information Commissioner only deals with FOI requests.
The content of the ICO’s update fits neatly with this recent study :
“The Children and Young Person Bill will negate any requirement for consent prior to information sharing about a risk to a child’s well-being.”
“The study found little awareness of the likely duties to be imposed on Local authorities and Health Boards by the Children and Young Persons Bill due in 2015. All public bodies will be required to share any information that they have, which may indicate a risk to a child’s well-being. In effect this introduces a threshold where information must be shared far below that which is currently regarded as Child Protection.”
“The GIRFEC focus on early and effective intervention requires information to be shared with a child’s Named Person at the first sign of risk to well-being far in advance of Child Protection measures. Alerts relating to child protection could be expanded to meet the requirements of the Children and Young Persons Bill and the scope altered to include well-being concerns.”
Clear Enough? There isn't a child in Scotland who won't have multiple “risks” to their wellbeing as defined by the SHANARRI indicators
As the Assistant Commissioner for Scotland (UK ICO) also states in his update that “obtaining consent can be difficult and it should only be sought when the individual has real choice over the matter,” not only will information be shared routinely without consent but parents need not even be asked for it.
Even without the blatant social engineering and unacceptable data rape, this is a very dangerous game to be playing. Who will have access to this data, legitimately or otherwise? What types are most likely to target it ? And how can it possibly be secure?
From the ridiculous sounding notion that the NHS Highland needs to know about every guinea pig , to the positively sinister parental capacity to provide well-being assessments being carried out by midwives in Lanarkshire, this has to be stopped. Now.