June 28, 2006

UK Gov't Database To Get All Up In Your Kid's Biznazz

I've never been able to jibe Britain's obsession with installing closed-circuit cameras everywhere with any notion of freedom and non-authoritarian government, but apparently most of HM The Queen's subjects are quite able to hold onto the illusion, thank you very much.

So I'm sure that after a few years of having voluminous amounts of detailed data and evaluative information about their children compiled into a vast government database [which was authorized under the Children Act 2004] by doctors, government offices, police, health centers, teachers, and lawyers, they'll learn to accommodate that, too. The database is meant to prevent children from "falling through the cracks" and getting abused, neglected, or killed by their caregivers:

Doctors, schools and the police will have to alert the database to a wide range of "concerns". Two warning flags on a child's record could start an investigation.

There will also be a system of targets and performance indicators for children's development. Children's services have been told to work together to make sure that targets are met.

Child care academics, practitioners and policy experts attending a conference at the London School of Economics will express concern about how the system will work.

Dr Eileen Munro, of the LSE, said that if a child caused concern by failing to make progress towards state targets, detailed information would be gathered. That would include subjective judgments such as "Is the parent providing a positive role model?", as well as sensitive information such as a parent's mental health.

"They include consuming five portions of fruit and veg a day, which I am baffled how they will measure," she said. "The country is moving from 'parents are free to bring children up as they think best as long as they are not abusive or neglectful' to a more coercive 'parents must bring children up to conform to the state's views of what is best'.",

How helpful.

The beauty is that, by the time these kids grow up, the idea that the government monitors everything they do and how they do it will be second nature--heck, it'll be first nature, all they've ever known--and then all that whining about "Big Brother" will finally die down. Ahh, it'll be good to be the king.

Family life faces State 'invasion' [telegraph uk via dd reader jjdaddy]

3 Comments

Then in about 10 years they can link up this database with the camera network. So if a kid with two "black marks" is seen wandering the high street with other problem children, police can be notified and round them up for loitering. Then they hook it up with the speed camera network so if you are photographed speeding with your kid in the car, that goes in the file as well.

The one thing I'll say about the UK gov't is that they at least announce that they are going to be spying on and collecting personal data from their populace. They are refreshingly upfront about the whole thing.

I heard that....

Sadly the fact that the UK government are up-front about surveillence doesn't seem to have generated the outrage that the database should have provoked. People here do fall for the line about child abuse prevention, despite the fact that the database will do nothing to solve these kinds of problems, so thank you to Daddytypes.com: the more exposure of the negative consequences of this government initiative, the better.

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