back to article Local authorities must change child privacy practices

Local authorities across England should change their rules on collecting information about children, a new report into the protection of children's privacy has said. The report was produced by children's rights lobby group Action on Rights for Children (ARCH). The report calls for better training for local authorities in data …


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Gillick's Competence

To my knowledge the only case law in England which covers child consent is Gillick's Competence and is only applicable to medical treatment. My understanding is that in other cases not relating to medical treatment age of consent should be accepted as being 16 or above.

I am sure someone will be along to correct me if I am wrong.


Sad day

it's a sad day when 'EU law is mostly effective in making sure that children's personal data has adequate protection'


Aye, there's the rub

"better training for local authorities in data protection law and information security"

It's not _training_ that's lacking, it's _education_. You can train a monkey but you can't educate him. Learning to use the word processor du jour is training, not education. Getting a tiger to sit on a stool or an elephant to dance in a circus act is training, not education. MCSE qualification is the result of training, not education.

Information security is a subject that demands intelligence and familiarity with a surprisingly broad range of matters. The practitioners have to be able to think, to devise new and novel solutions to unanticipated problems as they arise. You can't train people to do that stuff.

There is a pernicious meme floating around the intellectual landscape, much beloved of the military, the ISO, NuLabour, and other elements of the corporatist political system that now rules the world: that you can document complex processes and then anyone can carry them out simply by going by the book. Ain't so. Never has been, never will be.

"Captain, which button do I push to blow up Moscow?"

"Don't know; look in the manual."

One suspects this meme is viewed by ignorant corporate powers as a way of eliminating the expense of hiring intelligent, independently minded staff and substituting for them ignoramuses hired at the nearest bus stop.

ISO 9001, my ass!

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Age limits

Last time I looked, for children under 10, English law took the view that they cannot be found guilty of an offence because there was an irrebutable presumption that they can't tell right from wrong. Between 10 and 14, that presumption remains, but it can be overthrown if evidence suggests they have matured sufficiently.

All of which seems a world away from assuming that a 12-year old might have a grasp of the subtleties surrounding the disclosure of personal information. For heaven's sake, it is perfectly obvious that most of the *adult* population haven't got their heads round this yet.


Sadder day.

Especially when we have a gov that tends to ignore EU law when it doesn't like it !

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Consent? My Arse!

"The Government asserts in guidance that children in England can generally be presumed able to consent to the sharing of their personal and sensitive data from around the age of 12"

My kids are raised to be skeptical of Big Brother, and regularly report their teachers handing round forms with the instruction to "fill this out and sign it". The data then goes to Connexions, to Teenage Pregnancy projects, to Health Services, and Deity Knows Where Else. The kids haven't just signed to disclose it, but also that it may be shared with other agencies under various ill-specified circumstances.

That is *not* the exercise of informed consent.

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