Henry Porter’s written in The Guardian on the growing desire of the present UK Government for data control…and the spiralling costs (Paying billions for our database state). There are two frightening aspects.
Firstly, the evident desire of our Government to find out what we are all up to – innocent or under suspicion, we are all targets for the prying eyes of the State.
Secondly, this is all going to come at a considerable financial burden, both to set up these systems, and to maintain the data. And don’t forget the now traditional cost-overruns and system failure associated with large Government IT projects.
ContactPoint – a database to hold information about all children in the UK (and I don’t know what happens to the data once the kids attain majority, but I’d be surprised if out state plans to delete the data). Projected to cost over £220 million to set up, with annual operating costs of £41 million.
ID Cards and associated database – estimated to cost £10-11 billion to set up and run over 10 years (some estimates exceed £19 billion)
e-Borders – scheme to monitor and record all individuals crossing our borders. Estimate £1.5 billion over 10 years. This article in The Mail Online has 53 questions that will be asked before we travel.
Interception Modernisation Programme – will store data from every text, phone call, email and internet connection. Supposedly a consultation exercise is to be held in early 2009, but it’s now late April and no sign. A particularly obnoxious scheme, estimated at an equally obnoxious £12 billion.
Automatic numberplate recognition system – Tracks, records and stores (for five years) the details of all journeys undertaken on major roads and through city centres. Henry Porter’s article is muddled on the costs of this system, I think all these billions and millions are too confusing!
NHS Spine – This is a computerised system linking health records, with an estimated cost of £12.2bn.
The horrifying thing here is the presumption of guilt inherent in many of these systems. Why should the State have the right to know where we drive, or who we email? This epidemic of intrusion by the state is truly monstrous not only in cost, but in purpose.
And this is the tip of the iceberg.