NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 79 - 31st August 2007
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IT'S TIME TO GET PERSONAL
Senior social workers have now warned of the dangers of ContactPoint, the £241 million new database intended to contain personal details of every child (and parent) in the country. The chairman of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ACDS) Information Systems and Technology Policy Committee, Richard Stiff, has written to officials outlining "significant" concerns about ContactPoint . Confusion over who is responsible for vetting the 330,000+ users and policing the system "may allow a situation where an abuser could be able to access ContactPoint for illegitimate purposes with limited fear of any repercussions."
The security of the entire system has been called into question, given that the details of a small number of children are likely to be excluded. We are led to believe this will include the offspring of celebrities and politicians - but if ContactPoint won't be secure enough for the children of pop stars and ministers, it won't be secure enough for anyone. ContactPoint will be going 'live' in 2008, so now is the time to act.
Write to your MP (http://www.writetothem.com) expressing your concerns, and asking if they would want or expect their child's and their own personal details to be 'shielded' on ContactPoint. Their answer, or lack of one, may be revealing. Please let us know by posting in our forums - http://forum.no2id.net/viewforum.php?f=52
And write to your councillor (you can use the same website to send a free fax) and/or Chief Executive of your Local Authority to ask just how much of the £241 million set-up and £41 million per year running costs will be showing up in your council tax. The lack of central funding for ContactPoint may well be news to them. You might also ask all of the above how they justify spending millions on an intrusive, insecure 'address book' when the money could be better spent on the specialist and targeted services that well over 50% of the children whose details will be held on ContactPoint will never need.
 see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2332307.ece