We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Contact lost

The vile ContactPoint database, which held details about every child in England and was accessible to hundreds of thousands of professionals has been switched off.

I have to say that in pulling the plug the government has confounded my gloomy predictions that no matter who won the election civil liberty and privacy would be equally poorly served.

Good comment to a BBC article on the subject here:

I work with large data sets professionally (I am a data architect working with large companies). ContactPoint was always going to fail, either disastrously through its own failings, or through an eventually inevitable political decision. The experience of data management within public and private organisations is that almost any data set like this will eventually end up on a laptop or a memory stick which then gets lost, and that users need to be carefully trained and monitored to ensure appropriate use. That was never going to happen here, with 300,000 users in a number of organisations, roles and lines of business, spread across the country.

Dr Robert Daniels-Dwyer, Oxford

However Simon from Doncaster feels differently:

David Cameron, in my view, will be directly responsible for any child who is abused in whatever form as a result of scrapping this system. How long before another Victoria Climbie? Well, with the cut backs to child social care, expect more and more and no doubt it will be local authorities who take the blame. This government is a disgrace.

Where did you say you worked again, Simon?

4 comments to Contact lost

  • Has the database simply been “switched off”, or have the necessary steps been taken to destroy it?

  • Sam Duncan

    There’s a simple riposte to the Simons from Doncaster (Simon-from-Doncasters?), as given by the TPA’s Big Brother Watch blog a couple of days ago:

    But while the critics try and strike fear into parents and children, the important thing to remember is that the system didn’t work.

    Deloitte’s official (Whitehall sanctioned) report suggested young people could be put at “greater risk” by ContactPoint. FOI responses revealed that several councils had had massive trouble with the system, Surrey even describing at as “not stable”. And the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust had labelled it “almost certainly illegal”.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “…details about every child in Engand…”

    Except, of course, the children of the important people (ie politicians and celebs)

    Never forget that detail.


  • Paul Marks

    Natalie – you are most likely correct in thinking that Simon works for the governement (most likely in “social services”).

    Also we must remember a revealing point about his attack (as with the attack from the British Film Council) when these people attack “the government” they mean the ELECTED government.

    They do not consider themselves to be “the government” – you see they have a DIVINE RIGHT to the money of taxpayers (and to order those taxpayers about) and elections (or public votes on issues – such as Proposition votes in American States) are ILLEGITIMATE if they are used as a way of trying to reduce the income or power of people like Simon.

    “But it is to protect the children” – and children are never abused in government “care homes”.