The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.
The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.
For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.
The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.
This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Child protection authorities in Scotland are planning to phase in an enormous database on all children born in the country in an effort to identify children at risk of abuse. Not surprisingly, the initiative is being referred to as "Orwellian":
Edinburgh Evening News - Edinburgh - 'Big Brother' plan to store every baby on computer: "'Big Brother' plan to store every baby on computer
EVERY newborn child in Edinburgh and the Lothians faces being stored on a "Big Brother-style" national database under a major shake-up of Scotland's child protection system.
The computerised files would be kept "live" until the child reaches the age of 16 and will include personal details of their health, family life and education.
The child's file will be closed when they reach 16, but it will then be kept on record for up to 75 years.
Teachers, police, GPs and social workers will be able to access the files to check for signs of abuse.
If the child is regularly late for school or their behaviour changes dramatically, the details could be put into the system where it is hoped it will build up a picture of the child's overall welfare.
The national database is being planned by ministers to revolutionise information sharing between different agencies and improve protection for vulnerable children.
The move follows a series of high-profile cases of child protection failures in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
In March, two-year-old East Lothian boy Derek Doran died after drinking his parents' methadone. He had been found dead in his bed by his mother last December at their home at Elphinstone, near Tranent.
And last year, three-year-old Michael McGarrity was found alone in a Leith flat with the body of his drug-addict mother, having survived for six weeks on scraps of food.
The scheme is to be piloted in Highland Council from September 3 before being extended across the country, according to the Scottish Executive.
Every newborn child in the Highland region and around 500 Inverness schoolchildren will be logged into the system during the trial.
Families have been told they will be consulted about the nature of information that is held.
A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: "Highland's experience will also be used to help other local authorities prepare for the roll-out of the new systems."
But a human rights expert warned the new system may be open to abuse.
John Scott, former head of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, said: "The positive aspects of this are fairly obvious but bringing so much information into one place brings with it the scope for abuse.
"The important thing it to ensure there are very clear safeguards in place."
Thanks to Pogo Was Right for the link.
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