back to article Mind your own: Scotland unveils privacy principles

The Scottish Government has published new guidance on achieving privacy-friendly public services. The five principles should encourage good practice and ensure personal data is always handled with respect, according to the the Scottish Government. The principles have been devised by an expert group - including the Assistant …


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  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
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    Is it just me or...

    Is a lot of the proposed policy and guidelines that come from the Scottish government a lot more practical and pragmatic than the crap we constantly get shovelled by Westminster?

    1. M Gale

      Maybe, or maybe not.

      It might be more a case of "let's embarrass those bastards down South." Scotland has its own share of fuckwitted legislation. Took more than the usual amount of effort for my brother across the border to get married to his American wife. Not because she's American, but because she's been married before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fuckwitted legislation?


        This is the same legislation for the UK - bigamy is not a Scottish issue.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    For every good idea there is someone.....

    For every good idea there is someone ready to sabotage it.

  3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Well indeed

    I have been promising myself for ages to start looking at moving to the land of heather and the midnight Haggis, if nothing more than for fresh air and decent scenery to photograph, time to get my skates on methinks!

  4. DrXym

    Sounds very sensible

    The more data you store, the more of a headache it is to secure and maintain it. Obviously though if you ask for less ID, or accept alternate forms of ID then it has to be accompanied by some form of training to spot fraudulent applications, counterfeit documents and so forth.

  5. Robert E A Harvey
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    UK government please note. And copy.

  6. Number6

    GIRFEC anyone?

    I wonder how the Scottish equivalent (and more) of ContactPoint fits into all of this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There isn't a Scottish equivalent of Contact Point. That idiocy stopped at Hadrian's Wall.

      1. Number6

        That's GIRFEC for you...

        Look at what they're trying to achieve with GIRFEC and eCare and you'll see that in some ways it's far worse than ContactPoint. The Scottish government didn't need to import anything, they were already cooking up their own.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Public sector bodies shouldn't be fined as it basically means that the taxpayer is paying the fine and when the fine comes from the organisation's budget the taxpayer loses out again.

    In public sector bodies, it should be the person who fucked up to get penalised. This is not necessarily the person who actually made the mistake but the person who ensured that the mistake happened so would usually be a manager or top level person. The punishment shouldn't be so severe as to make everyone scared to do anything at all, but enough for the person to learn from their mistake and for others to learn too.

  8. John Sturdy

    Great! What puzzles me...

    Much better than any other laws I've seen on the subject.

    But... how on earth did anybody with that much sense get into a position to be able to draft laws? On the few occasions when the public elect someone sensible, cronyism makes sure they don't progress to a position of responsibility. Direct appointment? That doesn't sound plausible either.

    Perhaps we should just attribute it to seasonal Divine Intervention --- El Reg, how about an "Archangel Michael with sword" icon?

  9. sheila

    sounds lovely but...

    ...simply doesn't fit with what is happening on the ground as Girfec and eCare are rolled out.

    These issues have recently been given a much needed airing by Kenneth Roy of the Scottish Review - an old school investigative reoporter. He is continuing the series in January.

    I am putting all the recent links on this discussion thread:

    Please read.

  10. Graham Marsden
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    "privacy-friendly public services"

    It's a good start and one that the English Government should emulate, but it needs to go further and get rid of the nonsense legislation that requires the ridiculous amounts of ID you have to produce eg to open a bank account etc.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you like these ideas in law

    Better move to Scotland and become a voter.

    The SNP is looking down a biased print media and BBC (which, for example, employs Ex-Labour politicians as political reporters) and it is amazing it holds its own as much as it does.

    I'll stop there before I head into a Cybernat rant

  12. dak

    You beat me to it

    Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child) is especially worthy of some close scrutiny, as it instills the attitude early on that intrusive questioning is a norm.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Amendment to E&E:

    ... the information handled will be handled securely by operators with rank commensurate to the data handled (e.g. (for England) data monkeys with access the Mr & Mrs Beckham's contact information including address, mobile phone numbers, landline numbers, ... will no onger be tolerated (they have to be security cleared data monkeys).

    @ sheila 24/12/2010 13:51 GMT

    The usual excuse is something along lines of: we can't cater for a new spec or operating standard until that new spec or operating standard is made known.

    Once made known they should have a policy meet to establish any impact on present practices or proposals with a view to building those in. If not, go sic 'em

  14. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Is it just me or..

    Because anything that is bad they can just blame on the lot down south

    Do you still get your DNA retained in Scotland? Yes but thats the governments fault

    Will your web visits and phone location get tracked - yes but thats the EUs fault

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Eh - no you don't.

      DNA records are destroyed when / if cases are dismissed as a result of "no proceedings", "not guilty" or the typically Scottish "Not proven" (for that read - we know you did it we just can't prove it)

  15. Pablo

    Sound nice...

    But with the possible exception of the first, all of those points are both obvious and vague enough that anyone can claim they are following it without really doing anything different.

  16. Jean-Paul

    So what is new

    What is actually new in those points? They should have been doing those points for years. I am shocked that they haven't been doing pia for example. Amazing how some of the comments here think the scots invented the wheel or something. They are just catching up.

    Problem as always is the implementation and assessments that is where these things go wrong.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Principles are good.

    *Applying* them to new systems and incorporating them into *existing* systems is better.

    Let's see the incorporation first.

    Unsmiley to represent my dour, prudent countenance.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    What does a Scotsman have under his....

    ....privacy policy?

    More than we suspected it seems.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Errrr... DNA has never been retained in Scotland anyway? Not the way that the rest of the UK did anyway.

    Feel free to give up control over Scotland to Holyrood and stop giving people 'excuses' to blame those down South for legal restrictions.

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