Thursday, 30 April 2015

Database tracking to be made easier

Currently the Scottish Government and National Records of Scotland (NRS) are consulting on proposals to change regulations that govern what personal information is stored on the National Health Service Central Register ("the NHSCR"), and who that information can be shared with. This consultation is entitled "Consultation on proposed amendments to the National Health Service Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006" .

What’s the Problem with this?
The consultation proposes increasing the information held on the NHSCR to include more detailed postcode and address information. It also proposes to allow a whole host of Scottish public bodies (around 120) access to this information. Examples of the bodies who would have access to this information include the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scottish Water, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, HMRC, and the Department of Education. The result of this will be to create a Scottish National Identity register.

Tracked across the database state with a unique identifier
The proposed National Identity Register would be linked to Scottish Entitlement Cards through the myaccount system. Both the NHSCR and the myaccount system use the same Unique Citizen Reference Number (UCRN). This is a unique identifier for each citizen that can track them from cradle to death across various database systems. It has all the hallmarks of the UK wide National Identity Register that was established in the Identity Cards Act 2006 and widely opposed at the time. This scheme actually goes further than the Home Office’s defeated scheme as it proposes using this identifier across NHS records as well. The ICO watchdog has warned of the dangers of doing this stating: "The ICO has concerns as to whether there is a sufficient public interest justification. "We do advocate against the creeping use of such unique identifiers to the extent that they could become the national identity number by default.

Linked to entitlement cards
Entitlement cards were established initially to replace bus passes. Since then we have seen a significant amount of administrative ‘function creep’ as to the purposes for which these cards are used. The myaccount system that runs these cards links up to the NHSCR through the same Unique Citizen Reference Number. We think it’s plainly clear these entitlement cards are developing into a fully fledged Scottish National Identity Card .

Read more at NO2id

Data security. See also


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