07 February 2008

Time to Get Incensed about the 2011 Census?

US authorities will not be able to see data covering all UK households even if a US defence giant wins the contract to run the 2011 census, a minister says.

The US Patriot Act allows personal data held by companies in the US to be made available to intelligence agencies.

But Treasury Minister Angela Eagle told MPs the government had received legal assurances this would not happen if Lockheed Martin wins the census bid.

Oh, that's alright then - if they really gave "legal assurances".

The fact the US telecom companies have been spying on US citizens illegally because they were told to do so by the US government doesn't have any bearing here, does it? I mean, if Lockheed Martin were *ordered* by the US government to hand over all the census data, they'd just refuse, wouldn't they? They'd have to: after all, they have given those legal assurances.

And if by any chance you were still a teensy-weensy bit nervous about the security of all that intimate information about yourself and your family - because, well, you know, the UK government has had one or two little mishaps with data recently - Angela Eagle has some reassuring words:

she was "pretty confident" there would be robust safeguards on the security of data.

Update: ORG's Becky Hogge points out a useful site called Census Alert that tells you what you can do to thwart this gross insult to the national intelligence.

No comments: