Monday, 23 March 2009

Many UK government databases flawed

Blogzilla, in a post titled "Database State", points to a new Report (67 page pdf) published by the British Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. The report assesses 46 databases across major government departments in the United Kingdom. Some of the findings are sobering:
  • A quarter of the databases are almost certainly illegal under human rights and privacy laws.

  • More than half the databases have significant problems with privacy or effectiveness and could fail a legal challenge.

  • Fewer than 15% are "effective, proportionate and necessary, with a proper legal basis for privacy intrusions".

  • Data is increasingly centralized and shared between health and human services, local governments, police, schools and "the taxman".

  • Only about 30% of government IT projects succeed, yet the government plans to spend over 100 billion pounds on such projects in the next 5 years.

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