Reasons to fear the database state, number eight thousand

In the UK, the state has historically been seen as something that had its uses, but didn’t need to be involved in everything. A persons identity was their own, with the state getting involved only to make a few notes of a few things as and when necessary.

And this would be a good thing, yes?

However, recently that’s been changing. The government is going about its business, and its business is rehashing the role of the state – it will soon be the sole guardian of your identity. Which isn’t, to my mind, a good thing.

That is the French way; l’Etat runs the entire show, and the individual is entirely at the mercy of it.

And how’s that working for them?

A report (pdf) issued last week by CNIL, the French Data Protection Agency, reveals that as many as a million people have lost jobs – or didn’t get them in the first place – because of inaccuracies in the police STIC database (Systeme de Traitement des Infractions constatés, or “criminal record check system”).

Overall, CNIL identified an error rate of 83 per cent on STIC records

83 per cent error rate!?!?!

Fucking hell. That’s even less accurate than a News of the World article…

But fear not, the UK will be much better about the quality of its data, won’t it?

Probably not, actually; consider this: an organisation takes its lead from the people at the top. And at the top of Her Majesty’s Government is a paranoid, delusional muppet. And at the top of the Home Office is a delusional half-wit.

God help us…

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