[via ArchRights blog]
The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill is more evidence of the NuLabour bureaucratic Nanny State, pandering to some vested commercial interests, at the cost of personal privacy and reduced data security.
This seems Bill is supposed to "help" a small minority of people during the forthcoming switch-over from analogue to digital television broadcasts.
However it is specifically designed to destroy the safeguards for everyone, not just this minority, under the Data Protection Act, i.e. that data collected for one purpose shall not be used for another one, without your explicit, informed consent. It is also designed to circumvent the Social Security Act data protection provisions as well.
Why is any of this necessary at all ?
The switch-over from Radio 4 Long Wave to FM and the the stupid (or perhaps the result of corruption on behalf of existing vested interests) need to re-tune TVs and video recorders to receive Channel 5, was achieved nationally, to all old age pensioners and people with disabilities etc. without the need for this sort of snooping and data shariing without explicit prior informed consent.
The Explanatory Notes give an idea of the extent of the Social Security database rape which is envisaged by the bureaucrats in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and,the BBC
The precise details have not been finalised, but it is envisaged that this power will be used to specify for this purpose the following information about an identifiable person, namely—
* their name, and any alias by which they may be known, marital status (if known), address and date of birth;
Why do they need to know "any alias" ?
Why do they need to know your "marital status" to upgrade your TV set ?
Why do they need to know your Date of Birth ? Why not simply an age range like "over 18" or "over 65" or "over 75" ?
* their National Insurance number;
How will handing this over to the BBC and to TV installers or to offshore call centres based in India help to protect people from "Identity Theft" ?
* whether they are eligible for any of the benefits that will establish entitlement to help and (if so) those in respect of which they have an award of benefit;
* the fact that they have ceased to receive such benefits, where that is the case;
Are old age pensioners magically supposed to get younger somehow ?
* details of any partner (including details of date of birth and National Insurance number) and whether they receive pension credit, income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance (to check upon what level of support the household is entitled to);
Why should claiming income support or job seeker's allowance entitle you to a free digital TV box anyway ?
Why is your employment status any business of the BBC at all ?
* if the qualifying person for disability living allowance is a child, whether the responsible adult or adults is receiving pension credit, income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance;
No ! This really is none of the BBC or any of its sub-contractors business.
* whether they live in a residential care or nursing home (so helping to ensure that the right kinds of help are available in residential care and nursing home settings);
The TV Licensing Authority already knows about residential care homes and hospitals etc - and about concessions e,.g. Free Licences for the over 75's, reduced fees for the blind etc.
* details of any person appointed to act on their behalf (to allow such people to be contacted to alert them to the availability of help);
* the fact that they have died, where that is the case.
Or, more likely, there is a real risk that the bureaucrats have cocked things up and declared you officially dead when in fact you are not
The TV Licensing Authority run by Capita plc is already notorious for its jobsworth bureaucratic assumption that everyone has a TV set which they must charge a fee for and inspect your premises, and for it's founder's million pound donation to the ruling Labour party.
There is no justification whatsoever for handing over such excessive data to the BBC or to Capita plc running the TV Licensing Authority or to their offshore Indian call centre sub-contractors etc.
This runs counter to the Government's declared policy on reducing so called "Identity Theft".
The Bill itself also does not have any clausesmentioning Data retention periods or mandating the destruction of this data after the TV sets have been upgraded to digital.
The supposed criminal penalty of up to 2 years in prison for abusing this data, is severely weakened by the "I thought I was authorised, so that is ok then" weasel clauses. No official is going to take any blame for breaches of data privacy and security obtained by , for example, "pretexting" or "social engineering" by criminals, private investigators etc. posing as authorised people.
There is no provision for an individual to opt out of this data sharing, even though they may already have a digital TV or they may not have a TV at all - their Social Security data is still going to be blithely handed over to third or fourth parties, without their informed consent.
This unnecessary, intrusive and privacy unfriendly Bill needs to be rejected by Parliament.
The NuLabour apparatchiki who are trying to inflict it on us should be personally named and shamed, so that the public can keep a sceptical eye on any future power mad schemes which they try to promote.