The spread of the database-driven society proceeds apace. Today’s Times reports that
Senior social workers have given warning of the dangers posed by a new government register that will store the details of every child in England from next year.
They fear that the database, containing the address, medical and school details of all under-18s, could be used to harm the children whom it is intended to protect.
Not being a newspaper writer or a member of the Association of Directors of Childrenâ€™s Services, I don’t have an interest in claiming that the danger of child-abusers getting details is the biggest problem here. (After all, children have most to fear from people they know. ) But still, they have a point. Any database that has an estimated 33,000 users is going to be leaky as a broken sieve.
The database, which goes live next year, is to contain details of every one of the 11 million children in the country, listing their name, address and gender, as well as contact details for their GP, school and parents and other carers. The record will also include contacts with hospital consultants and other professionals, and could show whether the child has been the subject of a formal assessment on whether he or she needs extra help.
Every child in the country it says. So you have to love this bit:
….. information about the children of celebrities and politicians is likely to be excluded from the system.