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No2Id say census answers could be passed to snoopers

January 16, 2009 3:29 PM

man with ID card and no2id logo - the anti-identity card (id card) and national identity database campaignAs NO2ID highlighted in the Queen's Speech, the Coroners and Justice Bill which received its First Reading in the Lords yesterday, will turn the Data Protection Act on its head as far as government use of personal information is concerned - giving powers to ministers to override confidentiality and data protection and to use information collected for one purpose for any other purpose.

As fits a snooping power, this is being sneaked in. Four clauses in the 160-clause bill, which contains a bundle of more eye-catching measures, create a new regime of 'information sharing orders' that any government department can use to change acts of parliament and override confidentiality.

If passed into law this would mean that ministers would, for example, be able to order that any information collected in the 2011 census could be passed to any government department. Any promise of secrecy made by any minister or government agency could be overridden at any point in the future.

Phil Booth, NO2ID's National Coordinator said:

"The data sharing powers in this Bill are a perversion of justice and of language, converting the Data Protection Act into its exact reverse. If this passes, you can forget you ever had privacy."

Guy Herbert, NO2ID's General Secretary said:

"We rightly had to wait 100 years to see our ancestors' census forms, but any promises that your 2011 census answers will be confidential might as well be printed in disappearing ink."