back to article UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records

The UK Home Office is secretly creating a centralised database on the good folk of Britain without presenting the capability increases to the public or subjecting them to Parliamentary scrutiny. The Register can reveal the project, which was described as simply a “replatforming” of the department's aging IT infrastructure, has …

  1. moiety

    Motherfuckers.

    1) Steal data illegally.

    2) Retrospectively try and legalise said theft

    3) Combine everything into one basket

    4) ????

    5) Profit for the Chinese, NSA, Russian gangsters and everybody else who gets in.

    Unbe-fucking-lievable.

    1. g e

      Not forgetting...

      Good luck getting them to expire data from various sources within the regulations laid down for those datasets to be expunged.

      Of course, expect summarised and recombined datasets derived FROM said time-limited datasets to be kept under different rules for far longer, too.

      1. Smooth Newt
        Mushroom

        Single platform

        1. Put all your eggs in one basket (also called a "juicy target" in the world of hacking and espionage)

        2. Leave a memory stick containing the basket on a train

        Oh, and whenever the server goes titsup then the entire government services delivery will grind to a halt.

        1. SoaG

          Re; then the entire government services delivery will grind to a halt.

          So...business as usual then?

    2. circusmole

      Don't worry...

      ...moiety, it will never work. They will discover this after spending a few hundred million and then quietly can the 'project'.

      1. moiety

        Re: Don't worry...

        One can hope...the big question is if it will fail before or after every single bastard in the universe has hacked it and made away with our digital goodies.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't worry...

        ...moiety, it will never work.

        That used to be the case with government projects on both sides of the pond until Microsoft's Azure division (and after that Google) started helping them to implement them. That changed the usual govt clusterf*ck failure equations significantly as far as data analysis is concerned.

        The fact that it is not Cap F*ck*mini or Cr*p*ta in charge should give you a hint on will this succeed or not. I am afraid it will (moving her eminence the future High Chancellor(ess) Treasonous May one step closer to the coveted position of High Chancellor).

        Anonymous (not because of wanting to, but to get the right icon).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Yup

    "... its various directorates are imbibing ..."

    Someone clearly is....

    1. C Yates
      Mushroom

      Re: Yup

      True!

      Plus, what's the bet's that this gets stuck on a USB stick and lost on a train?

  3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Modus Operandi

    This does not surprise me one bit, it's how the govt works.

    Govt plans "one database to rule them all", runs it through the regular channels, it gets defeated.

    What are they to do next? Give up on it, because the electorate don't want it? Nah, let's call it something else and try to push it in through the back door*!

    This sort of thing seems to happen more and more. The people want privacy in the IPB? OK, we'll add the word "privacy" to the title of a section, that'll appease them without changing anything.

    * Fnar fnar!

    1. Dave 15

      Re: Modus Operandi

      Pushing it through 'the back door' fnar fnar indeed... I do not really understand when the government and civil service stopped doing what we wanted and started taking complete liberties without even giving us the benefit of lube.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Modus Operandi

        They left amyl nitrate legal for this very reason.

        1. Ben Liddicott

          Re: Modus Operandi

          Not any more. The puritans will leave no loophole unplugged.

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Modus Operandi

        I do not really understand when the government and civil service stopped doing what we wanted and started taking complete liberties without even giving us the benefit of lube

        Wait, when did the government and civil service come into existence?

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      not how *government* works. How the UK civil service works.

      Seriously do you think May or any of her predecessor sock puppets Home Secretaries have a blind f**king clue what Haddoop even is?

      This is again being driven by data fetishist senior bureaucrats for whom more data more cross referenced now is always better (for them) by definition.

      Now some might be thinking "but it'll make it more efficient"

      I say does the phrase necessary and proportionate mean anything to you?

  4. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    RE: "one database to rule them all"

    Govt plans "one database to rule them all"

    The magic words "Government plans" more-or-less ensure it will never happen. And that's coupled with with the fact the work will be given to one of the usual suspects.

    Instead of "one database to rule them all", they'll get "half a database to rule quite a few", which will then be subject to umpteen iterations of change control, and disintegrate into the usual mess that such projects are doomed to end up as.

    The real shame is the amount of taxpayer pounds that get shoveled into these sort of schemes.

    1. John Mangan

      Re: RE: "one database to rule them all"

      I truly wish I could believe that.

      I tend to side with the view that most of these people are doing the best job they can and are looking at efficiency, savings, etc. but if anyone of a totalitarian disposition every does get into power with these tools to hand then we are all well and truly f@cked on a scale never before seen in human history.

      1. Nixinkome

        Re: RE: "one database to rule them all"

        Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese and John Mangan

        Will the Yanks supply their age old access to this unified data without Chinese Walls to us [ahem] whilst our lot sets up their monitoring scheme and will they charge through all orifices when something does go wrong?

        I think it's a way of unifying LEGAL access to this data.

    2. kmac499

      Re: RE: "one database to rule them all"

      A previous employer ran an in house competition to name their new super duper AS400 data warehouse. ( we'll skip over the fact it was on the ground floor in a building on a flood plain.)

      My suggestion of 'Mordor' cos it was the home of the Dark Lord did not make the shortlist.

  5. Vimes

    Use writetothem.com to write to your MP and let them know how you feel about this. They might not even know about it...

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    Now you know why Theresa May agreed to that review, her back up plan was proceeding quietly.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Close

      Now you know why Theresa May agreed to A review,

      Fixed that for ya - that is her standard Harkonnen modus operandi. Plan within plan within plan.

  7. Christoph Silver badge

    So every plod in every car can trivially pull up huge amounts of data on you.

    Or at least on people with the same name as you (or similar name, for such as Muslim names which can be transliterated in several ways).

    Or on people who have at some time lived at the same address as you (or a similar address).

    And at least some of that data will have only a few errors in it.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. gerryg
      Big Brother

      @Christoph

      Choose your answer:

      a) at least it will be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

      b) it still won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell

      c) it definitely won't be safe to get on the tube at Stockwell as they'll be able to justify actions

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's only one usable solution..

      .. mandate that every time a record referring to you gets consulted, you automatically gain a copy of the same data of the requester, and an update on the data of the Home Secretary. This means that frequent requests for your data ought to yield an almost live feed of those activities, which is (given the activities on display) absolutely essential.

      Otherwise - no f*cking way.

      Oh, and before I forget don't come asking for new data either.

  8. John Lawton
    Thumb Down

    Brazil

    Tuttle / Buttle what could possibly go wrong?

    1. gerryg

      Re: Brazil

      Brazil?

      we could ask the de Menezes family

  9. Grubby

    I wonder

    Day 1

    dev team:

    "DVLA db.All stuff

    UNION

    NHS db.stuff"

    1 day after release:

    Project manager

    "Oh... it broked"

    next day:

    Cameron

    "The threat of Brexit has resulted in a complete failure of the database project which would have prevented world hunger, created jobs and reduced immigration"

  10. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Arse biscuits

    a Hadoop Use Group UK (HUGUK) meeting

    'Hug'? I think they mean 'suffocate'. Gently and lovingly, no doubt, and for all the right reasons.

    and that the department's current approach to data would remain in place.

    Yes, that's certainly true. The fact that their current approach of 'grab, amalgamate, and tell no-one' might be wrong never quite occurred to them.

  11. M7S

    This Bond chap, who wouldn't give you any useful information

    was his first name really Simon?

    1. Wensleydale Cheese
      Joke

      Re: This Bond chap, who wouldn't give you any useful information

      "was his first name really Simon?"

      It's a little known fact that in the Bond family those with names from A to M go into the Foreign Office and those with names from N to Z go into the Home Office.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry to keep banging the same drum but the Home Secretary has five eighths of four fifths of f*ck all to do with this, she probably didn't even know what was happening beyond some vague hand waving "IT Improvement Scheme" with an attached budget reduction for the laid off staff that was pushed across her desk among all the warrant requests.

    All the panopticon crap coming out of the Home Office is the product of Charles Farr, it doesn't matter who the Home Secretary of the day is, once they get a visit from our chief spook they all turn to the same page in the hymn book & sing for all their worth. They've probably had a small discussion about "how they don't want another 7/7 on UK soil ... on their watch ... as they would be blamed ... being in charge of the security services and all" despite Mr Farr being the one actually in charge & the new Home Sec only being in office a week. I doubt he gets as far as reminding the HS they're in charge before they wet themselves. He started having an influence in the Blair era and has continued through every change in government since, the coalition slowed him down a little but not by a lot. If Mr Farr wants to surveil everyone, fine let him stand up in the house and argue his case in the full public spotlight, but that will never happen as he'd have to reveal he's the puppet master and we'd be able to see the strings on the Marionettes of Parliament

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      she knows all about it, Farr's gf was Theresa May's spad, until she had to resign for doing something or another. details elude me as one corrupt MF is much the same as another, it all merges into one.

    2. Camilla Smythe

      May Bangs Others Drums...

      Sorry to keep banging the same drum but the Home Secretary has five eighths of four fifths of f*ck all to do with this, she probably didn't even know what was happening beyond some vague hand waving "IT Improvement Scheme" with an attached budget reduction for the laid off staff that was pushed across her desk among all the warrant requests.

      So basically you are saying she does not have a fucking clue. Good luck trying to extract an admission.

  13. John70
    Black Helicopters

    Next Step...

    Mandatory National ID Cards all in the name of Anti-Terrorism.

    1. averydarklight

      Re: Next Step...

      You mean that's not what facebook etc and smart phones have become? Even better than ID Cards in the fact that the later tend to lean all about you and your habits.

    2. scrubber

      Re: Next Step...

      Seems to me the cops and security services have infinitely more power, and incentive, to terrorise me than any group of religious or political nut jobs ever could.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Destroy all the buildings, burn the crops in the fields & salt the earth, gather everyone in one place and watch them like hawks, that way we'll find the terrorists.

    They'll be the ones pissing themselves laughing at what we've done to ourselves in the name of freedom.

  15. imanidiot Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    but its all to protect you

    Think of the children will you!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they'll print out little cards with our RowID on

    Maybe we could call them ID Cards

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      That wouldn't be so bad...

      After all, anyone who's read the Oracle documentation knows that RowID values aren't guaranteed to be persistent across queries...

      (Or they weren't ten years ago, anyway)

      1. Loud Speaker

        Re: That wouldn't be so bad...

        The Government data is unlikely to persist across queries either (or indeed at all, across Hadoop kit supplied by the lowest tenderers on the basis of a spec made from the shells of teenage mutant ninja turtles), but good luck explaining that to the jurors.

    2. cantankerous swineherd

      no need, they're well on the way to making passports compulsory.

      1. Known Hero
        Flame

        @swineheard : My wife went to sainsburies to get a job with :

        Birth Certificate (not the itty bitty one)

        Marriage certificate (change of name)

        Council Tax bill (proof of address)

        Provisional drivers license (Photo ID)

        She was then informed would not be getting the job as she didn't have a valid passport !! WTF

        1. Captain Mainwaring

          Right of abode

          The reason Passports are the preferred option when it comes to employment, is that they give the surest indication that the bearer has the right of abode in the UK, or otherwise. A vast majority of UK passports show the holder as a British citizen, automatically implying that they have right to take up employment here. An EU passport/ID card, and in some cases a UK - issued residents permit will do the same. All other documents are regarded as supplementary rather than definitive evidence of immigration status and most employers would prefer a Passport presented to them. In everyday practical terms, a UK Passport is seen as a national Identity document and seems to be the favored document in the banking and rental sector as well. Things may change of course, if the EU finds a way of imposing ID cards on us by some future directive, assuming of course we vote to stay in on June 23rd.

          1. Tomato42 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Right of abode

            Sorry, but I see this whole aversion to national ID cards in US and UK to be completely irrational.

            Government already knows well where you live (birth certificates, taxes). Universal proofs of identity don't change that one bit. On the other hand they are useful to prove your identity to other people - employers, banks, your UK citizenship when you're abroad

            Actually oppressive communist governments don't use ID cards to oppress the population!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Right of abode

              "Sorry, but I see this whole aversion to national ID cards in US and UK to be completely irrational.

              Government already knows well where you live (birth certificates, taxes). Universal proofs of identity don't change that one bit. On the other hand they are useful to prove your identity to other people - employers, banks, your UK citizenship when you're abroad"

              I didn't see the /s sign on this to signify sarcasm and that worries me. Sure the Government already has our details so they are fine and don't need anything else. Our passports are what we need abroard and driving licence or passport really should do at home when we *do* need to prove identity (which has gone a bit far anyway). Additional ID cards help no one but the terrorists who will use forgeries. Linking databases and running data analytics across the Government data risks handing all our remaining (and eroding) freedoms to a totalitarian regime. Those who say it will never happen here are deluding themselves. If we ignore the erosions of freedoms and liberties we walk into totalitarianism of our own free will. BTW under the circumstances what genius it was to call the Hadoop message layer Kafka.

              Where is the petition to demand that the use of Hadoop and Kafka is at least discussed?

        2. DocJames

          @Known hero

          She was then informed would not be getting the job as she didn't have a valid passport !! WTF

          Did she not respond that she thought the job didn't require international travel?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't use cards, they're too easy to lose. One approach other places have used, is to tattooing them on people's forearms. Maybe get IBM involved, as they have history?

      /s

    4. Vic

      Maybe they'll print out little cards with our RowID on

      Maybe we could call them ID Cards

      That's a dreadful idea, and the populace has spoken. We do not want ID cards.

      What they'll do is to print out a little card with your Primary Key on it, and this will be known as a Government Key Card, for obvious reasons. And that's so much better...

      Vic.

  17. JohnMurray

    That data-sharing agreement with the US state dept still existing then?

  18. captain veg

    BIG DATA IS WATCHING YOU

    ++ungood;

    -A.

  19. Triggerfish

    I can't help think of a thread a few years back

    THE DATABASES ARE COMING, THE DATABASES ARE COMING!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I knew this was coming.

    Next up will be your very own id number, expect it to appear on an official document soon.

    After that expect to use it for broadband mobile or anything else where id is useful.

    We are sleepwalking into something terrible.

    1. Captain Mainwaring

      In a broader European context

      I think the EU have some plan or another to issue an individual taxation number to everyone throughout Europe. Obviously this will be in preparation for a continent-wide taxation system yet to be announced. It's certainly not difficult to foresee this individual tax number becoming the basis of a citizen number that could one day be used to populate a EU citizens register. This is where the idea of a EU superstate could quite easily start it's life.

    2. Mr Flibble

      “Next up will be your very own id number, expect it to appear on an official document soon.”

      NI number?

      (Why can't we use <blockquote>…)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        NI number?

        Alas, they have given them out like sweets for the last couple of decades so they're pretty useless.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your biometrics will be a key, one picture from a government phone, one thumbprint in a scanner and your entire life history will be available with embarrassing points highlighted so they can come up with a one line put down to shut you up that only you understand. They probably got the idea from F*cebook

    And you of course will not have access to a similar service to defend yourself with as researching government officials, police, MP's etc will become a sign of being a terrorist.

    It's the ultimate divide & conquer.

    A large faceless bureaucracy can now deal with every individual, individually.

    And while they may not know what you say as that contravenes data protection, for the moment, they will know who you say it to.

    I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between any of us and a known terrorist ?

    I wonder what qualifies as a degree of separation, calling someone - yep, tweeting someone - probably, reading an article on line - most likely, sitting next to someone in an internet cafe - hell yes. Actually thinking about it I wonder what doesn't qualify.

    I wonder how low that figure has to get before the security services decide you're a terrorist or a sympathiser and add you to the same list ?

    I wonder how long it will be before the people on those lists become targets.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      "I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between any of us and a known terrorist ?"

      If this goes ahead, expect the number to steadily decrease down to civil unrest.

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: "I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between any of us and a known terrorist ?"

        I've personally known several terrorists. But then so have at least one Tory ex-minister and one Labour peer, who were also at University with them.

        1. Fonant

          Re: "I wonder how many degrees of separation there are between any of us and a known terrorist ?"

          One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Nelson Mandela, anyone?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont worry, it'll all be fine

    Praise be everyone who votes to leave the EU and save us from these acts, once we have Brexited, we can disregard that ECHR, these issues will no longer be illegal and we can all sleep safely in our beds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dont worry, it'll all be fine

      This article is about UK government agents acting against UK citizens, Europe doesn't actually have anything to do with it however you can bet any chance of action against this will only come via Europe.

      On the European tax number issue, lets remember that everyone in the UK already has a national insurance number that is allowed to be required and retained by all sort of non-government agencies so if Europe takes the reins then what has exactly has changed for the tax paying majority? I would suggest only tax avoiders have anything to fear from a global system that treats all Europeans equally rather than preferentially if they are one of the boys.

      If you want to bring this whole brexit rubbish into the debate then lets deal with facts

      1. This is a UK home office agenda not European sanctioned and I suggest against European privacy requirements.

      2. Being in Europe has allowed for action against privacy abusers such as when the UK Government agencies and BT colluded with known criminals like PHORM for instance.

      I am not saying Europe as a state is perfect, merely that so far they have done me IMHO less damage than UK local counterparts who seem to honestly believe only they and their mates have rights.

      1. I sound like Peter Griffin!!

        Re: Dont worry, it'll all be fine

        @AC - If you were a fish you'd be baking in someone's oven right now, stuffed with garlic, dill and lemon slices..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dont worry, it'll all be fine

          better than being done up like a kipper

  23. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Mad MAY - Arse backwards ... as usual

    We, in Canada, are extremely sensitive to governments of any level penetrating our lives too much.

    Way back, when the UK government was likely still running on punched cards the Canadian government set up it's Data Bank Structure.

    Compartmentalisation was key. The data banks contain information as varied as climate monitoring, geological surveys, securities law compliance, patent applications and grants, surveillance, national security, border control, law enforcement, public health, voter registration, vehicle registration, social security, and statistics.

    We also have newer additions such as the National Homelessness Information System (NHIS) database system, Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) - whose data can be transferred to the NHIS system and the Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS), a directory of Canadian federal public servants throughout the country.

    Users are given specific rights and there are data guardians who control/limit access.

    In Ontario some data banks share very limited data. For example, drivers licences, with photos, can be accessed by the Cops and the very same photos shared with the Ontario Health Insurance Plan - but users of one are denied access to the other - without judicial permission.

    We also have a SIN - Social Insurance Number - that can only be used for five specific reasons and NOT as a universal identifier.

    Mad MAY, of course, has a different client base and they want easy access to everything.

    The neat thing is, it is extremely easy to screw up systems by messing up the input data. Did you know passport PIX are already available on a multi-user basis? And that the Passport Agency has an extreme interest on where you and your passport have travelled?

    Prior to renewing my passports, I legally have three (and three citizenships), I take out the acetone (nail varnish remover) and carefully remove all my visa stickers. I also use another chemical which 'smudges' ink used by governments.

    These days, when I get a new passport, I carefully coat the pages with a chemical that males visa removal a breeze and with a wipe of a complimentary chemical removes all those stamps - which means the passport will never get filled and upi get to use it until it's expiry date.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just fucking leave already

    No, I don't mean the EU. I mean just fucking leave the country. Britain's a cesspool, the majority of the voting public either don't care about or agree with all the authoritarian bullshit, everything's the fault of foreigners, etc, etc.

    Fuck it. Fuck the fucking place.

    Fuck the government who'll clearly do whatever they like and legalise it later. Fuck the spymasters. Fuck the gigantic bloated top-heavy administration and the insane taxation rates needed to support it. Fuck the xenophobes who encourage you to blame all your problems on countries who have better things to do than get involved in such a shithole. Fuck the racists, and the bigots, and the arsehole bishops who get to stand up in government houses and try to make things worse for people who've done nothing wrong, whilst plastering over all the people they've hurt. Fuck the traditionalists, the NIMBYs and every backwards dickhead who'll fight tooth and nail to make sure the country progresses as slowly as possible. Fuck everyone who's ever used the phrase "in the good old days". Fuck a people who've gotten so expert at hating everyone who doesn't look like them, every other county in the country seems to have a devolution movement going strong right now, because the world is getting smaller and it scares them to death. Fuck 'em all. Get out while you're young. Let them all sit and shit together in the paddling pool until they drown in it.

    1. moiety

      Re: Just fucking leave already

      While I sympathise with the point of view, and confess admiration for the number of fucks you dropped there, please allow me to point out a bit of a flaw in your cunning plan:

      Most of the symptoms/flaws you describe are not peculiar to the UK - they are species-wide. So relocating, I would suggest, will not only not alleviate your list of problems, but will add a couple of bonus ones because you are now an immigrant.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just fucking leave already

        I gotta be honest, I wasn't expecting upvotes. ;-)

        I might point out a flaw in your own reasoning there - I did leave, and I'm much happier for it. Sometimes the grass really is greener. Yeah, the country I'm in now isn't perfect, but it is better, and that's all it had to be. Lower taxes, higher quality of living, modern cities where shit gets BUILT, beautiful countryside, pro-immigration (yes, seriously), only the occasional bits of racism to deal with (you have no idea what it's like not hearing "I'm not racist but..." any more).

        1. moiety

          Re: Just fucking leave already

          Don't be surprised by the upvotes...a good quality rant with a strong "get off my lawn" theme usually gets approval around these parts.

          I also moved and it is also better; but don't expect it to be a panacea for everything is what I was trying to say.

        2. NiteDragon

          Re: Just fucking leave already

          It's unlikely to work - but it will keep friends of various politicians in new cars and big houses for a while.

          AC - quality rant; can I ask where you moved to? I also feel a bit like it may be a good point to step off this deluded elitist little island.

  25. SoaG

    Always amusing

    When a Big Brother article has a Facebook button on the page.

  26. J J Carter Silver badge
    Holmes

    Of course...

    Most of us created a separate identity years ago, using the loophole outlined in the Day of the Jackal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Of course...

      "Most of us created a separate identity years ago, using the loophole outlined in the Day of the Jackal."

      I'm Spartacus!

  27. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    The database isn't the problem

    If the only thing protecting you from government overreach is the fact that government is too incompetent to be nasty -- that's your problem.

    Fix that problem and then a government that effectively and efficiently uses the data that you paid it to collect will cease to be a worry and might actually become a source of pride.

  28. lsces

    About bloody time!

    How are most of the fraudsters being identified these days ... by finally getting around to cross checking names between all the isolated public computers we pay for. Someone has finally realied that a single cross referenced system will stop the hundreds of millions being wasted on catching fraudsters!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big data loves you

    Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.

  30. Tony Pott

    What could go wrong?

    Big government IT, many DB's now reduced to a single point of failure. While this could be seen as a serious threat to civil liberties, in practice it will probably turn out to be very funny indeed.

  31. LateAgain

    This IS a UK government project

    So the chances are that it'll go "tits up" (technical term) before anything actually is seen to work.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    I haven't read all the comments yet...

    ...but has anyone brought up the classic "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear" argument? Because it's sounding worrying hollow now isn't it?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You must hate government if you are alarmed by this. People who hate government are dangerous and must be watched. Closely.

  34. Tachikoma
    Trollface

    I'm going to change my name by deedpoll to "DROP * FROM *" or whatever the Hadoop equivalent is.

  35. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Filter

    At least this time they're admitting it's a database, and not calling it a filter.

  36. RangerFish

    Am I the only one who's reading this as 'we want to take a bunch of data we already have and reorganize it?' Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but that sounds like there's no privacy issue because they already have the data.

    My GF is employed as an administrator for the NHS, so she's well aware (which means I am also painfully aware) of what happens when you try to maintain the same data in different places.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      The issue is the misreading of an architecture diagram!

      It is common to many I've produced and seen. As you note a single department has access to (potentially) physically separate databases and hence in defining a department/organisation wide architecture vision it would be normal to include all databases in a single view.

      As for integration, well whilst the rules may inhibit all data being held in a single physical DB, they don't prevent the creation of a framework that involves human-mediated interfaces, something that was relatively common in workflow and EAI solutions. And yes maintaining consistency is an issue, particularly if each DB is a 'master' as it uses different sources for its data - an issue the banks had in integrating their records of banking customers, investment customers, insurance customers etc. because the DPA prevented them simply assuming that having the same name and address was sufficient to link records across databases from these differing businesses.

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