Fingerprints

A controversial database which holds the details of every child in England has now become available for childcare professionals to access.

ContactPoint was a response to Lord Laming's report following the death of Victoria Climbie, who was abused by her great aunt and the aunt's boyfriend.

But the system, costing £224m, was delayed twice amid data security fears.

The government says it will enable more co-ordinated services for children and ensure none slips through the net.

But in 2007, a report into the project by auditors Deloitte and Touche said it could never be totally secure.

Last summer ministers delayed the database, admitting there were some “issues” identified in testing.

It says 390,000 people will have access to the database, but will have gone through stringent security training.

And it is a certainty that not one of those 390,000 people will be able to be blackmailed or bribed in order to give up a child's details.

Ahem.

I would suggest that giving over a third of a million people 'stringent' security training will be rather harder to do than the government thinks it will be.

Much like getting children used to handing over their fingerprints to borrow library books it seems that we are educating tomorrows generation to be content that the government has all their details.

3 thoughts on “Fingerprints”

  1. That's the weak point with Gov databases – far too many people have access they don't need. You simply can't secure a system like that.

  2. “The government says it will enable more co-ordinated services for children and ensure none slips through the net.”Hmmm, remind me, wasn't Victoria Climbie well known to all the services, and still slipped through? How much easier will it be to lose a genuinely At Risk child when every child who is clumsy and attends A&E once too often, every child with “special needs” and every child whose parents don't measure up to a pre-concieved “normal” is flagged up?

  3. Sounds like another reason for my mum to be grateful I'm currently 40, not 4. I was an incredibly clumsy child – knock knee-ed and pigeon-toed – and fell over anything that could be fallen over. I fell down so many flights of stairs my parents reckoned I had a great future as a human slinky! The only thing which may have saved them from an over-zealous child protection system was my amazing ability to time my “woops” moments for when there were at least four witnesses.All joking aside, there will still be mistakes made. Ultimately, none of the poor unfortunate wee souls who made the headlines were killed by social workers (or anyone else in the child protection system), they were killed by those who should have been responsible for their well-being. Most councils report a huge shortage of foster parents who can offer a safe place to damaged children, children's homes are the last place you'd want any abused child living, and for far too long it seems (to an outsider looking in) that the emphasis has been on keeping families together.

    I wonder how long it will be before the “laptop left on a train” headlines appear?

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