Your privacy is under attack from several terrifying new laws
Quincy Larson

I have what appears to be a very minority view on this subject, which I am posting here in the hope of comment.

I start from the position that my data, accurately and inaccurately, is held across a large number of databases already, most of them private, and most of them vulnerable to attack. So the ‘government’ holding another copy is not, to me, a big thing in itself.

What does matter to me is that it is unaccountably accessible by an unknown number of gov (and related) departments, can be sold on without my knowledge, and can be used for any purpose without my knowledge.

What I would like to see is a separation between those that hold my data, and those that use it. In breif, my idea is that my officially held data is stored and managed by a body run on judicial lines, using a publicly published process.

Access to my data would limited by strict rules, for what I describe as inquiries of a serious nature. For example, if I was suspected of serious crime, against another person or persons, the agencies responsible would be allowed remote access. This would include me being suspected of plotting such a crime. What would not be allowed would be similar access to my data for minor purposes such as suspected of shoplifting.

Even then, initial queries would be algorithm based, with the query being sent to the data holder to be run, and the results handed back only if the result met previously defined success criteria. The agency making the query would not be allowed direct access, to prevent uncontrolled trawling. I would also want rules about how long my data is kept.

I would expect the process, and the rules, to be publicly defined, but not my data, which would remain confidential.

This does complicate the way my data could be officially used, but I would be much happier knowing that controls were in place.

Why I think something should be in place along these lines is because I think it is necessary in order to keep me safe from the actions of others, and at the same time keep me free from random official snooping.

As a matter of interest, I am not one who believes that ‘those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear’. This may be true if all data was accurate, and always analysed correctly, but this is an almost unachievable holy grail. By restricting the use of my data to serious enquiries only, there would be enough people involved in coming to an opinion on my involvement, and enough ‘people led’ process to allow me to comment on and correct any invalid conclusions.