participants in the forum were asked what they thought of the government
sharing data between departments in order to better deliver public services.
Seventy per cent voted in favour, Ben Page, chairman of the Ipsos MORI Social
Research Institute, told The Register.
After the forum,
participants took home sheets asking them to consider the pros and cons of government
data sharing, as well as other policy matters.
To provoke their
thinking, the sheets gave specific examples of how data sharing was beneficial.
But they made only passing reference to the fact that some people were
“concerned” about the idea, while it made others “worry about
information consisted of web addresses to a BBC article
about the Citizen Forum that touched on some of the pros and cons of data
sharing, and a 2003 survey that found that, having considered them in more
detail, 60 per cent of people were concerned about the idea.
also referred to the government's Information
Sharing Vision Statement, which described in detail why information sharing
was a good idea. (a very poor argument).
What would the
Citizen's Forum have made of data sharing if they had been made more aware of
the arguments against the idea, or told why the DCA suspected government data
sharing might require the peeling back of laws designed to protect their
Unlike the Prime
Minister, the DCA has not conducted its part of the policy review with the
public. It has refused
since September to discuss its deliberations, and did so again this week.
Government still has not explained why it needs to share your personal details,
both here in the UK and across Europe, and it is suspected to the US.
the public need is an online portal that shares Government services, government
information flowing to the public, not the other way around.
NO to Datasharing, Say NO to the Database state.