Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Government to share ID and DNA databases with foreign agencies?

There has been quite a bit backlash over the past couple of days about the Government's intention to allow the Police to data mine the ID cards database for unsolved crimes.

Such a move would certainly represent yet another step in the direction where the individual is treats as a suspect in all circumstances and information about themselves is no longer their property but instead the property of an ever-growing state.

Last week, during the Parliamentary recess, one of the written questions which received an answer is in a way related to this subject. The question was put forward by Oliver Heald MP and was about the proposals for data sharing across the EU and other foreign nations.

The response from Home Office minister Joan Ryan, in the context of the previously mentioned news makes, for interesting reading. She said,

"There are a number of EU initiatives to improve information sharing in the area of Justice and Home Affairs. In principle the UK is keen to share information with EU partners that will add to our ability to protect the public, where the request is in the interest of prevention and detection of crime and taking account of the justification and proportionality of disclosure in accordance with human rights legislation. The Government are supportive of a current initiative by the German presidency of the EU to transpose parts of the 1/4m Convention into EU law, which includes provisions on improving the sharing of DNA data.

The provision of information from the National Identity Register will be regulated by the Identity Cards Act 2006 which includes no power for information to be given to foreign governments, except in the limited circumstances set out in the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 relating to criminal proceedings carried out by law enforcement agencies overseas."
Got that? The Government is "supportive" of sharing the DNA database and the ID cards across the EU, as well as other "law enforcement agencies overseas".

Incidentally, the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 doesn't just concern itself with terrorism on disclosure matters and actually casts quite a wide net.


james higham said...
22 Feb 2007 06:31:00  

Great piece on this issue, Dizzy. combined with the piece over at Disillusioned and Bored and Guido's succinct comment and it gives a pretty complete picture. is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to