And to quote the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust report 'Database State':
UK Border Agency
Under Council Directive 2004/82/EC, air carriers are required to communicate Advanced Passenger Information regarding passengers to EU Member States’ immigration authorities, and it is also passed to the USA by bilateral agreement. In the UK the data is processed by the UK Border Agency, which through its e-Borders Programme is developing a “joined-up modernised intelligence-led border control and security framework” including pre-boarding electronic checks of all persons flying to the UK. A trial project captured information on 10m inbound and outbound passengers. Data were matched against watch lists from immigration, law enforcement and customs, and used to deliver alerts to government agencies.
The European Council is considering extending this requirement to other Passenger Name Record data, to land and sea travel, and to journeys within the EU. Each member state would set up a unit to carry out a risk assessment of passengers using this data, which could also be used for various purposes related to serious and ‘other’ offences.
The UK visas Biometrics Programme operates in 135 countries and covers the three-quarters of the world’s population who need a visa to come to the UK. Over 2m fingerprint sets have been collected so far, with fingerprint matches against previously unsuccessful applicants (held in the
Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System) rapidly communicated to visa officers at diplomatic missions. Fingerprints recorded for use in biometric visas are also stored in IAFS. Officers use an IT caseworking system called Proviso that sends information back daily to a Central Reference System database, which is accessible to government departments involved in immigration control, law enforcement and national security. These systems appear to mix scaremongering ‘war on terror’ tactics with legitimate immigration control mechanisms, and with little evidence of effectiveness. Some calm reappraisal would not go amiss, and we rate them as Privacy impact: amber.
' that a database has significant problems, and may be unlawful. Depending on the circumstances, it may need to be shrunk, or split, or individuals may have to be given a right to opt out. An incoming government should order an independent assessment of each system to identify and prioritise necessary changes. '
So now whose methodology is flawed? The Joseph Rowntree Trust or the UKBA???