back to article UK.gov is about to fling your data at anyone who wants it. How? Why? Shut up, pleb

The government is poised to legislate on how it intends to use your data for public services – but its woefully worded “data sharing” consultation suggests it hasn't learnt much from the ongoing controversies of Care.data. Whitehall is due to publish a response to the consultation, set out in Better Use of Data - Consultation …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharing citizens' data is essential to build "a more prosperous society,"

    self-explanatory.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: Sharing citizens' data is essential to build "a more prosperous society,"

      Hmmm, I wonder who will prosper? It certainly won't be we plebs.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. BurnT'offering

      Sharing citizens' data is essential to privatising public services

      FTFY

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There needs to be an "OPT OUT"

    People have the right to privacy. It's a fundamental right.

    So anytime they provide data to government, there should be a checkbox, "Do not use my data for other purposes", to decline these 'innovative' uses for their data approved by a non-governmental panel.

    1. ritey

      Re: There needs to be an "OPT OUT"

      No, there should be an "OPT IN" for those who have nothing to fear.....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "an overhaul of data sharing within government,"

    Looks like the word 'overhaul' is becoming a warning to watch out for corrupt activity (just like 'modernisation', 'reform' and 'partnership' did.)

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: "an overhaul of data sharing within government,"

      And "privatization".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: "an overhaul of data sharing within government,"

      Looks like the word 'overhaul' is becoming a warning to watch out for corrupt activity (just like 'modernisation', 'reform' and 'partnership' did.)

      The old ones aren't quite dead yet. Modernisation gets a mention in the opening paragraph of the ministerial forward, "Delivering on that mission requires modern rules on the use of data in public services"

  4. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    The problem is that there's no penalty for losing or buggering up our personal data for this government staff. Some minor civil servant in dusty Whitehall office loses a USB key with 25,000 IDs on it and all they'll get is possibly a harsh word from their direct manager, a manager who is probably 27 levels below the PM. When you know there's very little comeback if you break something you really don't give a monkey's about it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have companies selling data left right and centre with opt-in or opt-out, they don't care. However, I can with difficulty not give many of these companies my data in the first place by being creative for example when applying for car insurance by getting quotes of a similar insurance class vehicle in my area etc...

    However with the government data I can't avoid, opt-out or otherwise obfuscate and that is why this is a joke.

    The more they piss on democracy the more pissed off the people are going to get, I give them 20 years so they better enjoy it while it lasts. Viva la revolution.

  6. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
    Go

    One way for plebs to be heard

    It is a bit old fashioned but writing to your MP can help. Most of them like receiving post and should forward it to the relevant minister who will then get a mandarin to write some flannel. At least if they get a lot of letters they realise that people are not happy bunnies and may even read one of the well reasoned letters.

    Of course if your MP is a time serving pillock you are bit stuffed.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: One way for plebs to be heard

      I recently wrote to my MP about RIPA. Several weeks later, I got a copy of a 3 page letter that the Security Minister had written to my MP, allegedly in response - with no comment from the MP. The letter was carefully crafted to respond in generalities to almost every conceivable objection to the bill that might occur and made no specific reference to any of the issues I had raised in my initial correspondence.

      To the extent your MP engages with the plebs it's over headline-catching things like individual medical care (where they have no actual responsibility and are simply interfering in clinical decisions) - influence on policy making is reserved for those who have the money or the negatives to steer things in the right direction.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: One way for plebs to be heard

        I have written to my MP several times. On no occasion have I had a reply I agreed with, and in many cases I received an obviously stock reply. In one case, I sent an email and the assistant tasked with responding accidentally copied me on their email to Conservative Central Office asking for the stock reply :-)

        However, I continue to do it on occasion. Not so much because I think my MP will actually read it or even hear my carefully argued points, but because they measure public opinion by weight. Getting lots of letters on a subject does put the wind up ministers (why else did the PM overrule the proposals on the BBC?).

    2. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

      Re: One way for plebs to be heard

      Not if you have a dick like ours, who can barely read and write, and treats Call me Dave's words as the one true gospel. Anyway, he's currently being investigated for alleged election expense fraud so is far too busy to help anyone.

  7. Bob McBob
    Facepalm

    Not compliant with GDPR

    Can't see how how without explicit consent (e.g. opt in to sell your data to the devil) this can be legal. Perhaps the gov isn't aware of the new framework around the corner?

    1. Disgusted of Cheltenham

      Re: Not compliant with GDPR

      But under GDPR the public sector should not use consent as the legal basis for processing (see recital 43).

  8. teebie

    "providing assistance to citizens living in fuel poverty or for any other reason"

    Ah, the 'for this specific reason or any other reason whatsoever clause'. As popularised by the Everything .99¢ (or less or more) Shop

  9. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Full steam ahead

    "The proposals could end up adding more legal complexity, with inevitable mistakes and loopholes, rather than simplifying and improving what we have."

    I expect that's the plan. Just the same as the unclear questions are designed to put off responses, or to encourage rambling and uncertain answers.

    Be proud of your commodity status, citizen! You are enrichening the prosperitousness of the glorious nation.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please vote for Brexit so we can line out pockets by doing whatever the f* we want with our citizens' data and anybody else's for that matter.

  11. ecofeco Silver badge

    For who?

    "Sharing citizens' data is essential to build "a more prosperous society," according to Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock"

    We know who will prosper and it isn't the average punter.

  12. Anonymous Vulture
    Thumb Up

    Excellent idea! But I have one small change...

    Regardless of how the voters feel, we are all aware that this data sharing will occur, even if the Government needs to justify it under anti-terrorism measures. My proposed modification requires all civil servants, members of the Government, employees of non-public entities, local council members and so forth that share or access shared data to permit unlimited public access to the following:

    1) Their banking records and transactions

    2) Tax records

    3) Internet search history

    4) Telephone records

    5) Time-stamped location data from their mobiles

    6) Medical records

    After all this level of transparency will instill trust in the public that we do not have terrorists* serving in positions of power.

    *Yes, I am aware of the opinion that members of the current Government could be accused of terrifying the populace to support such atrocities as the Snooper's Charter. I am neither confirming or denying I share this opinion in the hopes that I can keep my name lower on the 'Watch this one' list.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent idea! But I have one small change...

      You forgot to mention that compensation to citizens whose information is accessed without due cause will be paid from the civil servants/MP etc pension funds not through taxation.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Excellent idea! But I have one small change...

        Just where do you think the money for their pension funds comes from?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Excellent idea! But I have one small change...

          Pension funds from salaries - another modification needed is that those pension funds have to be completely exempt from any pension safety net or guarantee scheme.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a trial

    Where only all civil servants, MPs and local authority employees are registered and make the trial for about 2 years, then see how they all react?

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