John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

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Personal Information Held By Government

by John Whitehouse on 28 February, 2008

With a number of high profile data loss stories very much in the news recently, the spotlight has fallen on the vast quantities of personal information being routinely collected by central Government on children young people and families. Most of the data is collected and transmitted to central government by local councils, who however have no discretion in the matter – the data requirements are enshrined in law.

County councillors reviewed the full extent of central government’s data requirements this week in our Scrutiny Committee – see the committee papers at:

www.warwickshire.gov.uk/AgendaManagementSheet26-2-08

Although I accept the need for central government decision making to be based on statistically sound data, what they ask for today is already overkill and yet still growing. For school children in particular, there can be no justification for the data to identify names and addresses. Each pupil is already allocated a UPN (unique pupil number) when they enter the school system, which should be quite enough.

I think our concerns about this whole system are entirely justified, and I shall be supporting strongly all efforts to get central government to change course. 

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