Government Superdatabase

January 27th, 2009

Over the last few months, there has been considerable media coverage of Government plans to introduce a new ‘superdatabase’ designed to track all internet and telephone use. The stated purpose of the database is to assist law enforcement agencies by facilitating access to information currently held by individual Telecoms companies. It is expected that the Government will publish its detailed proposals later on this month. However, the new Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer QC has already expressed the view that, provided that proper safeguards are put in place, the database would be legitimate. Mr Starmer’s assessment contrasts starkly with that of his predecessor, Sir Ken MacDonald, who expressed the view that the database would create a ‘hell-house’ of personal privae information. The Information Commissioner has previously warned that the creation of such a database would raise serious data protection concerns (see his 15 July 2008 Press Release).

Draft Communications Data Bill:

https://www.commonsleader.gov.uk/output/Page2461.asp

Information Commissioner’s Press Release

https://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/pressreleases/2008/annual_report_web_version.pdf

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