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Monday, March 23, 2009

Reform Body Attacks 'Database State'

A report from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust has said the UK 'database state' wastes billions from the public purse and often breaches human rights laws.

The government spends £16bn a year on databases and plans to spend a further £105bn on projects over five years but does not know the precise number of the "thousands" of systems it operates, the trust claims.

Responding to the report, Justice Minister Laventiy Straw said the Government was "never losing sight" of its obligations under the data protection and human rights acts.

However, he agreed that there was no longer a consensus over precisely how many databases the Government was running, nor any unified method of controlling and managing access to the data held therein.

He added, "this is a known issue and a matter of concern for Government, because there's probably data on terrorists that we haven't properly indexed. Or something. As as a result, we are announcing an immediate investment of £500 billion into a new IT project to consolidate all our databases into one big database.

"This will require putting together a database to index and analyse the number of databases we currently have, and once this is done we will set up a new database into which we will import the older databases. We'll then put together a new database of all the current users of the legacy databases, and from there we can create a database of the users who'll need access to the new database. The big database, I mean, not the old user database. Er. . . ".

Civil Liberties campaigners refused to comment on Mister Straw's announcement, because they couldn't understand it. However, Derek Lostit, of Government contractor DataLoss Services PLC, welcomed the new consolidation process, saying, "this is going to be great. Now we can lose every single bit of data on a person in one hit, rather than working across multiple databases. It'll save us a fortune in CD-Rs, USB keys and train fares".


Anonymous said...

Too late! We've already got your personal details, your driving details, your kids' details, your beer preference, the number of minutes late for work, your friend's details, your dog's details, how long you spend on the web, your size of sock, the wife's favourite chocs, how carefully you mow your lawn and how many times a day you scratch yourself. If there's anything else we should know it's your obligation to tell us. Any attempt to avoid so doing will render you liable to a £3000 fine or two weeks in the slammer.

Anonymous said...

The govt. would be better off handing their data services over to Network Rail. At least that way, the data would never get lost.

banned said...

What happens when corrupt databases are merged, is the corruption compounded, multiplied, squared or merely added to each other ?