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Contact Point goes live

May 18, 2009

The controversial new central database of all children in the UK has gone live today for the North-west of England, and will gradually be rolled out across the UK. The £224M ‘Contact Point’, one of the main planks of the ‘Every Child Matters’ initiative, will be accessible to around 390, 000 police, social workers and other relevant professionals. It is mainly being promoted as a time-saving initiative, allowing quicker and more informed intervention in the case of vulnerable children, which we all hope it does, although this of course depends on the correct information being on the database in the first place. In addition, as the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust review, Database State, rated the system as ‘red’ for danger in terms of privacy:

“because of the privacy concerns and the legal issues with maintaining sensitive data with no effective opt-out, and because the security is inadequate (having been designed as an afterthought), and because it provides a mechanism for registering all children that complements the National Identity Register.”

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