Mission creep? What a surprise!

It has always been portrayed as a way for professionals to find out which other agencies are working with a particular child, to make their work easier and provide a better service for young people.

However, it has now emerged that police officers, council staff, head teachers, doctors and care workers will use the records to search for evidence of criminality and wrongdoing to help them launch prosecutions against those on the database – even long after they have reached adulthood.

Truly, whoever thought that such a thing might happen?

And as for access:

An estimated 330,000 people will have access to the data stored on ContactPoint,

This information is going to remain private for what, 5 minutes?

11 thoughts on “ContactPoint”

  1. Tim, you’re assuming that the state actually respects privacy. The public sector doesn’t really believe in private property so why should it care about personal data? “All your data are belong to us…” to coin a phrase.

  2. That’s what you get for living in a State without a legally binding constitution.

    And worst of all for Tim, no nasty EU foreign types to blame.

    Of course, we wouldn’t want a Republic, would we?

  3. @Brit_in_Aussie

    And how ould being a republic would prevent this? Are you suggesting that Her Majesty is disseminating these details?

  4. @Brit_in_Aussie

    And how would being a republic prevent this? Are you suggesting that Her Majesty is disseminating these details?

  5. Republican constitutions [should] limit the power of the state and entrench freedoms of the individual. Despite its flaws, the US version does this. The starting point is the premise that power originates with the individual and some – and only some – is delegated up the pyramid.

    Monarchy, constitutional or otherwise, starts with unlimited power at the top of the pyramid, and delegates this downwards in various ways.

    Obviously there are other considerations. The writers of the US constitution didn’t anticipate the consequences of information gathering and storage technology. This was no great failing on their part, these developments were not easily foreseeable in the eighteenth century.

  6. Well if you guys think a British republic starting from where we are now would have a constitution that limited the powers of the state, then I have a bridge you might like to buy.

  7. “This information is going to remain private for what, 5 minutes?”

    We already have cases of police and DWP officers using their access to the PNC, NI database, etc. in order to track down fleeing wives (not to mention the recent case of a policeman conspiring in a serious assault by passing on DVLA computer data).

    The Government’s sole response to concerns about security come down to “it’s illegal so it won’t happen”. Some consolation for those who have violent partners catch up with them..

  8. Andrew, you’re quite right of course. That’s why I hedged several times. Gordon Brown’s wittering about a constitution/Bill of Rights has tended to focus on the citizen’s responsibilities to the state.

    Except… except… on the whole, limitations of power have been imposed on rulers from below. There’s no sign of anything like a sufficiently popular movement to limit government yet, but that’s how it must happen. And it has happened in the past.

  9. “Gordon Brown’s wittering about a constitution/Bill of Rights has tended to focus on the citizen’s responsibilities to the state.”

    The state is amoral, and at times actively malign. I owe nothing to it, certainly not any active duty.

  10. Peter Risdon:

    There’s really no difference in whether the power is seen as originating at the top and limited in certain respects or originating with the individuals and (more or less carefully) delegated upward.

    Both are subject to the reality that might ultimately resides with the numerically superior (and for which democratically-elected government transforms battlefield reality into peaceful regime-change).

    Translated into practical terms, however, it means there is no fundamental difference between forms. To those with respect (and historical cognizance) of such instruments as the Delaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, there is at least some semblance of subscription to something more humanly-morally-based than the rule of mob passions.
    But, despite that widespread respect, there exists an almost counterbalancing (and continuing) popular sentiment to regard such as
    “mere scraps of paper,” the “dead hand of the past,” etc. The future may be prescribed in the past but it is always determined in what we call the present. “The worst and most and most dangerous form of absolutist rule is that of an intolerant (and ignorant) majority,” The quote is from Mises except for my parenthetical addition.

    The problem is not one aligning freedom-loving “good” people as rivals to “evil” collectivizers. Even differences between (in the U.S.) Democrats and Republicans are not much
    more than superficial disagreements–principally over which areas of life it is most important to collectivize and to what extent.

    Freedom is always more fragile and vulnerable than even its most vocal proponents recognize. The barbarians are ALWAYS already within the gates. Pogo certainly put it best: “We have met the enemy and they is us.”

  11. Kay Tie:

    I would agree generally with your sentiment regarding responsibility to the State but would take exception in the case of the most well-established (or, at least, oldest): that of military preparedness and service. To serve in such capacity does not exceed the fundamental right (and obligation incumbent thereupon)) of each individual to self-defense of his life, property, etc.

    “In a world full of unswerving aggressors and enslavers, integral unconditional pacifism is tantamount to surrender to the most ruthless oppressors. As isolated attempts on the part of each individual to resist are doomed to failure, the only way is to organize resistance by the government. The essential task of government is defense of the social system not only against domestic gangsters but also against external foes. He who in our age opposes armaments and conscription is, perhaps, unbeknown to himself, an abettor of those aiming at the enslavement of all.”

    The quote, again, is Mises’ (HUMAN ACTION, 1949). The reasoning advanced simply cannot be refuted by any reference to the realities of history and the sentiments expressed, while significantly and understandably less fashionable today than when written, are no less timeless for those who value true liberty.

    I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, what could be called a “militarist”–merely a realist, to the extent that I can apprehend reality. I’d even endorse Smedley Butler (General, USMC, 2-time Medal of Honor awardee) in his statement (and book title): WAR IS A RACKET!

    But…millions and millions now living everywhere owe the relative liberty and satisfactoriness of their existence to the fact that “our” (volunteered and conscripted) forces defeated “their” forces in the century past. To imagine otherwise approaches lunacy.

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