Is any additional information, over and above that required purely for driving licence purposes, secretly encrypted on to the credit card style licence?
Precisely who has access to the data, and for what purposes? Is access routinely available to all public bodies and officials, or only on a strict need-to-know basis, coupled with justification and authorization?
How tightly are access, viewing rights, and amendment rights controlled? Could, for example, a parish official in St Ouen snoop on the St Clement licence details of a prospective son-in-law, or fabricate an endorsement on to a business rival’s licence?
If law enforcement agencies have access rights in lawful course of their duties (not unreasonable, within limits), what safeguards are in place to prevent and detect improper use, of the kind not exactly unknown in the recent past?
What integration is there with other States’ databases, like Social Security and Income Tax? Could officials of Social Security, say, search for a cross-matching of names and addresses to check whether a recipient of serious incapacity benefit doesn’t also have a no-incapacity driving licence? Preventing benefit fraud by reasonable means is legitimate, but this kind of linkage allows covert spying on the population to a wholly unacceptable degree.
Licensees’ details include a raft of personal data, photographs, forms, and even signatures. With the existence of the database being public knowledge, and with even CdeH? being able to work out that it would yield a treasure trove of sensitive personal information for criminals, what barriers and firewalls are there to prevent data abstraction for nefarious purposes?
In which public body does political accountability for the centralised database reside? Is it the Comité des Connétables? If not, who? On whose desk sits that famous sign “The Buck Stops Here”? Who do we blame, whose head should roll, who should fall on their sword, if a catastrophic data loss or security breach was to occur? In short, just who’s in charge?
What precautions are taken to ensure that the data held about us will not either (1) be lost while being sent on an unencrypted, non-passworded CD-ROM via insecure mail: or (2) copied to a memory stick which then gets left in the pub: or (3) stored on a laptop which gets nicked from the back seat of a car while the owner hops out to pick up the paper on the way home? All three have happened in the UK during the past year.......
Would the States indemnify the database’s entire population from consequential loss occurring as a result of the leakage of sensitive personal data if caused by the States’ or their agents’ reckless or negligent custody? What’s the extent of third party liability cover carried by the States against this? Is it sufficient?
What does the database cost to establish and maintain? Is it cost-effective? Could it be outsourced at lower cost, provided that legitimate access was not impeded and security was not compromised?
And finally - have all the operating parameters and data protection measures been reviewed and signed off by the Data Protection Commissioner?
Now for a couple of other aspects.
Doesn’t the basic concept of an Island-wide driving licences database run counter to the hoary old argument that a system of 12 individual parishes constituting 12 separate issuing authorities is somehow one of the key manifestations of individual parish identity?
And from the purely practical standpoint, if a centralised, all-Island, driving licence database exists, then why on earth does CdeH?, say, on moving house from Trinity to St John, have to go through the archaic and time-consuming rigmarole of surrendering a Trinity licence and applying – probably in person too, for photograph verification - for a new St John version (plus the £40 fee, no doubt)? The widespread assumption among CdeH?’s acquaintances is that it’s to give parish administration at least the fiction of something to do……thereby adding, of course, to the cost of public bureaucracy.
CdeH? did not anticipate the need, quite so soon after launching Clameur de Haro?, to comment at such length on the threats to the privacy and security of islanders’ personal details posed by the unremitting expansion of the database state.
CdeH? is disinclined just to trust Big Brother, much less learn to love him. So satisfactory answers and reassurances please, Big Brother. And now.Add to del.icio.usDigg It!Stumble This