I suspect this whole storm-in-a-teacup about data sharing this week has been too abstract for many people. It's hard for the man on the Clapman Omnibus to get excited about it without some concrete examples of the problems it could cause them personally.
So I've been casting around for examples. Here are a couple that NO2ID campaigners might use if this subject comes up:
1. Electoral Registers. For years, every council in the country took electoral registration data (which voters are obliged by law to provide) and sold it to private companies who used it for junk mailings. The exception was Westminster council - I believe they alone refused to sell machine-readable data.
This particular data-sharing abuse only stopped in 2002 after one Brian Robertson took a stand in Wakefield:
http://society.guardian.co.uk/e-public/ ... 21,00.html
As a result, individuals can now opt-out of having their countcil sell their personal details off the electoral register. Mr Robertson deserves a medal!
2. The DVLA takes car registration data (which again you are obliged to provide) and sells it to anyone who can pay for it:
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/liv ... urce=&ct=5
This still goes on, although DVLA has been rattled enough by the bad publicity to hold a "review".
So the politicians are eager to talk about data sharing being "for your benefit", but it's likely that government will also stand to make money by "sharing" data which you are obliged to provide for a specific purpose for other purposes that you might not approve of.
Libby Purves wrote a particularly good piece about this in late 2005:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 65,00.html
Spy blog has more useful details:
http://firstname.lastname@example.org ... ld_to.html
Because it stands to make money, government is likely to be reluctant to stop "sharing" data in this and other ways.
Has anyone got any other examples? Particularly where the data is being sold?
Edit: Fixed spelling mistakes :-).