The Scottish Identity Card Scandal:
Campaign News - 2015 (Aug.-Dec.)


Scottish ID Card


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2016 2017                      

106. Edinburgh Evening News - Letters, 13 Aug. 15 - Council has questions to answer on data collection, name and address supplied

Cllr Alasdair Rankin

I was interested to read Councillor Rankin's letter explaining how Edinburgh council contact centre staff are supposed to be responding to callers' inquiries ('Council ID questions have no hidden agenda', Letters, August 8), for it bears little relationship to my own experience on several occasions.

With regard to staff being required to explain that the giving of a date of birth is voluntary, I have never been told this. On the contrary, I have had to argue as to why I would have any objection to supplying them with a whole range of identifying information, including my date of birth, but also my phone number, mobile number and e-mail address.

While my call may have been a simple matter relating to a waste bin, the council clearly has its own agenda to hoover up as much personal information about me as possible, no doubt to store in its citizens' database. Though, of course, the council doesn't bother to tell us this.

I really object to the council proceeding in this way and it certainly shouldn't be doing any of it without first obtaining my fully informed consent, especially since it seems hopeless at keeping people's data secure, having in recent weeks allowed 13,000 e-mail addresses to be stolen.

Phoning the council is extremely disconcerting, for whether supplying the information is voluntary or not is not the issue. We should not routinely be asked to divulge identifying information. To do so is exceedingly poor practice.

My calls have been about refuse collection. Not even my name, only an address was actually required to fulfil the requests.

I note that the Scottish Government's own excellent guidance on privacy makes clear that our services should be "asking for as little information as possible".

So why is Edinburgh council intent on ignoring this sage advice and doing the precise opposite and risking our privacy into the bargain? I think that we need a clear explanation.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-council-has-questions-to-answer-on-data-collection-1-3857434

The letter which was being responded to, entitled 'Council ID questions have no hidden agenda', can be found here:

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-council-id-questions-have-no-hidden-agenda-1-3852996


107. Edinburgh Evening News - Letters, 14 Aug. 15 - Cllr Rankin dodges the key issues on ID, Dr John Welford

I am grateful to Cllr Alasdair Rankin for his response to my previous letter ('Council ID questions have no hidden agenda', Letters, August 8). However, disappointingly, I note that he has carefully sidestepped the central points that I raised.

In particular, he has made no comment whatsoever on my key quotation from the Scottish Government's Identity Management and Privacy Principles document, Version 2.0, viz. "People should not be asked to prove who they are unless it is necessary. A person making a general inquiry about a service should not need to provide any identifying information."

And note that according to this stipulation, Edinburgh council should not be requesting any identifying information from general enquirers, never mind the date of birth. Regarding this key point, Cllr Rankin has nothing to say.

The council really needs to study carefully the Scottish Government's privacy recommendations, and think hard about the implications for its own conduct. As the world becomes ever more challenging for people trying to safeguard their privacy and identities, every encouragement and support needs to be given to them to be constantly protective of their personal information and what they agree to disclose to others on a daily basis.

I would wish to see Edinburgh council becoming part of the solution to people's privacy and identity problems. Sadly, at present it seems content to remain part of the problem.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-leith-theatre-could-be-ideal-new-home-for-bbc-1-3858594

The letter which was being responded to, entitled 'Council ID questions have no hidden agenda', can be found here:

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-council-id-questions-have-no-hidden-agenda-1-3852996


108. The National, 26 Aug. 15 - Every child in Scotland to be given a library card, Georgina Reid

Nicola Sturgeon

ALL Scottish children could automatically become library members to help improve literacy under a new Government scheme.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is backing the £80,000 scheme which will see year-long pilot projects in every local authority to enrol children at key stages of early development.
They will either be issued with library cards at birth, aged three or four, or when they reach Primary 1...

The First Minister spent time with a P1 class who are part of Glasgow Life's pilot project which will target 2,000 pupils in six areas with lower literacy issues. From September 7, every baby registered in the Glasgow area will be given a library card by the registrar under the Every Child a Library Member scheme...

But [chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust Marc] Lambert believes that local authorities will need to reissue the cards when children reach primary school age and the services must be promoted at grass roots level...

Earlier this year Dumfries and Galloway Council launched its Every Child a Member initiative, in which every family registering a birth is offered a library membership for their child...

http://www.thenational.scot/news/every-child-in-scotland-to-be-given-a-library-card.6818


109. Dundee City Council website, 11 Sep. 15 - The KIDZ Card

Tim Farron

KIDZ cards are issued to Dundee primary school children by Dundee City Council. If you have a KIDZ card it means you are a member of any Dundee Library and you can also get the KIDZ card rates in Leisure and Culture Dundee Swimming Centres. If you have not been yet or it's been a while try it...

If the household is registered for Council Tax reduction further reductions in the price of a swim will be applied. You don't need to do anything as it will be automatically applied if you use your KIDZ card or NEC when you pay for your swim.

KIDZ Cards are part of the National Entitlement Card smartcard family and as such the NEC terms and conditions apply...

http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/kidz

And for details of the Glasgow KIDZ card, including application form, see:

http://www.notredameprimaryparentcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Glasgow-KidzCard-Application-forms1.pdf


110. The Scottish Parliament, 9 Sep. 15 - Question from Patrick Harvie

Question S4W-27410: Patric Harvie, Glasgow, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/09/2015
To ask the Scottish Government how the pilot library card scheme for children is being progressed, and whether the Improvement Service will administer this through the National Entitlement Card.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop (25/09/2015):

The 'Every Child is a Library Member' pilots are being administered by individual local authorities in partnership with the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). SLIC provides advice to local authorities and supports improvements in public libraries through the Public Library Improvement Fund provided by the Scottish Government. Local authorities are trialling various methods of distributing the library membership, including at the birth registration, via Bookbug packs and during Primary 1. There is no intended Scottish Government specific link with the National Entitlement Card.

Details of individual projects can be found on the SLIC website:

http://scottishlibraries.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ECLM-Pilot-Summaries.pdf

Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 25/09/2015

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-27410&ResultsPerPage=10


111. The Scotsman - Letters, 22 Sep. 15 - ID database, Dr John Welford

I entirely agree with Lesley Scott (Letters, 21 September) over her concerns about the SNP government's named person provision and the light it shines on the government's increasingly authoritarian intrusion into family life.

For me this parallels my own concerns about the recently announced pilot scheme to issue so-called "library cards" to every newly born Scottish baby.

Obviously, everything should be done to encourage young people to use public libraries.  But it really makes little sense to issue a library card to a baby, who will be incapable of using it for several years.

For by then the card may well have gone astray, been thrown out or else chewed to bits.

So why is the government acting so bizarrely?  Unfortunately, I suspect that it has everything to do with its worrying National Entitlement Card agenda.

This was introduced in 2006 in the form of the harmless looking free pensioner bus pass, but which, functioning now also as a library card, is clearly seen to be a slow burn "smart" identity card.  And nine years on, the supposed anti-ID card SNP government is enthusiastically pushing ahead to set up a vast national ID database.

Seen in this light, it seems pretty obvious that the Scottish Government's overriding objective with its library card scheme will be to use it to register all newly born children into the national ID database, in much the same way as pensioners' details have already been automatically hoovered up means of the "bus pass".

The SNP government should at last come off the fence.  Either it should abandon its highly authoritarian ID cards programme, intruding into the daily lives of citizens, or else declare that it has become a pro-ID card party.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/id-database-1-3893911


112. The Scotsman - Letters, 24 Sep. 15 - ID cards, Dr John Welford

Like S Beck (Letters, 23 September), I too had an ID card during the war, and didn't feel oppressed by it.  Indeed, I am grateful for it, for it allowed my mother to obtain a ration book for me, enabling me to be properly fed.

Also, like Mr Beck, I have no problem with government agencies, such as the NHS and HMRC, holding my personal details.  But I disagree with him about the desirability of "having one card which gives access to all the services to which one is entitled".

This would undoubtedly be convenient, but it represents poor security.  For it would be similar to someone possessing a single key to open their house, their car, their safe, etc.

Have this one card stolen, and you could lose everything.  Likewise, banks sensibly provide different cards for your different accounts.

Nevertheless, my main concern about ID cards is not in fact with the card itself.   But rather that it allows a government to create what is known as a "database state".

So the Scottish government's National Entitlement Card carries a unique number, a Unique Citizen Reference Number (UCRN), which can in due course be used to automatically link all the records for any individual.

As a result, at the touch of a button a civil servant will be able to obtain access to a complete dossier of anyone's life, from cradle to grave.

We all have a human right to privacy, and such a database state would obviously negate this.

Moreover, you would need to have considerable faith in the honesty of governments and politicians not to misuse the intrusive powers they would be given.

Finally, the desirability of having ID cards and a database state in Scotland should obviously be properly examined and debated by the Scottish Parliament.

To date there has been no such debate.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/id-cards-1-3896259

The letter which was being responded to, entitled 'ID hysteria', can be found here:

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/id-hysteria-1-3895050


113. Edinburgh Evening News - Letters, 24 Sep. 15 - Council still contravenes Scottish privacy policy, Dr John Welford

Edinburgh Council HQ building

Once again, City of Edinburgh Council is proving to be guilty of deliberately hoovering up residents' personal information ('Residents urged to contact council online', News, September 19).

With its new 'Save time - do it online' campaign, it is urging residents to use the council's website to report issues such as problems with street lighting, potholes and litter.

Unfortunately, anyone who attempts to log on to the website will soon discover that to report such a simple problem they will be forced to register for their own 'myaccount' account, supplying their date of birth and other personal information.

However, in a similar recent correspondence regarding phone enquiries to the council, I pointed out to Cllr Alasdair Rankin that such a policy flatly conflicts with the Scottish Government's own Identity Management and Privacy Principles (Version 2.0, October 2014).

For the first policy states: "People should not be asked to prove who they are unless it is necessary.  A person making a general inquiry about a service should not need to provide any identifying information."

Following this, the second principle is entitled: "Ask for as little information as possible."

Cllr Rankin has never explained why the council should be so blatantly ignoring such straightforward, unambiguous recommendations from the Scottish Government.

So until the council provides an additional anonymous method of logging on online, I would caution people to steer clear of this privacy-unfriendly website.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-council-still-contravenes-scottish-privacy-policy-1-3896840


114. The National - Letters, 26 Sep. 15 - Is Scottish ID card a threat to our rights?, Dr John Welford

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon's stout defence of our human rights is to be greatly applauded (Sturgeon: I'll do all I can to halt Tory assault on rights, The National, September 24).

Sadly, while her rhetoric may be wholly commendable, some of the SNP government's current practice leaves much to be desired.

In particular, there is clear evidence of persistent non-compliance with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), viz. the right to respect for private and family life.  Article 8 states: "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

While the Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, has been speaking very approvingly of Nicola Sturgeon, I suspect that she would be absolutely horrified to discover that the SNP government is behind the scenes pushing forward with its plans to create a Scottish "super ID" database.

Based around the use of the National Entitlement Card, an ID card in all but name, and the allocation of a Unique Citizen Reference Number (UCRN) to each individual, it would then allow the government to create over time what is known as a "database state".

This would mean that in due course an individual's UCRN could be used to automatically link together all their records: health, education, finance, tax, employment, pensions, library, DVLA, births, marriages and deaths, etc, so at the touch of a button a civil servant could get a complete dossier of anyone's life, from cradle to grave.

This would totally destroy our individual and family privacy and drive a coach and horses through Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Therefore, if the Scottish Government genuinely wishes to defend our human rights, in deeds and words, it should immediately abandon its current Scottish super ID database state plans.

http://www.thenational.scot/comment/letters-to-the-national-september-26-is-scottish-id-card-a-threat-to-our-human-rights.8036


115. Edinburgh Evening News - Letters, 22 Oct. 15 - Be careful what you tell the city council, Dr John Welford

The Information Commissioner's Office was wholly justified in roundly criticising Edinburgh City Council over its woefully insecure handling of residents' personal information ('Information policy slated', News, October 21).

To have allowed 13,000 email addresses to be stolen by hackers represents incompetence of the highest order.

So perhaps it would be prudent for the council to halt its voracious hoovering up of residents' personal information until it has mastered the most basic data security procedures.

And an obvious key procedure would be to reduce the amount of data it collects to the minimum, as recommended by the Scottish Government.

In the meantime, residents would be wise to avoid handing over their personal information to the council unless it is absolutely necessary.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-time-to-rethink-single-scottish-police-force-1-3924386


116. The Scottish Parliament, 2 Dec. 15 - Question from Alison McInnes

Question S4W-28457: Alison McInnes, North East Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/11/2015
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the appointment of a privacy champion to the NHS Central Register Governance Board.

Answered by John Swinney (02/12/2015):
The National Records of Scotland hopes to appoint a suitable candidate early in 2016.

Current Status:: Answered by John Swinney on 02/12/2015

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-28457&DateTo=11/27/2015%2011:59:59%20PM&SortBy=DateSubmitted&Answers=All&SearchFor=All&ResultsPerPage=10


117. The Scottish Parliament, 2 Dec. 15 - Question from Alison McInnes

Question S4W-28458: Alison McInnes, North East Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/11/2015
To ask the Scottish Government further to the answer to question S4W-27521 by John Swinney on 29 September 2015, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding what date it will (a) publish an analysis of responses to the consultation on proposed amendments to the NHS Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and (b) set out how it plans to proceed.

Answered by John Swinney (02/12/2015):
As set out in the answer to S4W-27521, I will provide to Parliament in due course an analysis of responses and how we intend to proceed. Any proposals regarding legislation would be set out at that stage. Discussions continue to take place with relevant public sector bodies in relation to the online services that they offer or plan to offer.

Current Status:: Answered by John Swinney on 02/12/2015

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-28458&DateTo=11/28/2015%2011:59:59%20PM&SortBy=DateSubmitted&Answers=All&SearchFor=All&ResultsPerPage=10


118. The Scottish Parliament, 1 Dec. 15 - Question from Alison McInnes

Question S4W-28463: Alison McInnes, North East Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/11/2015
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-27521 by John Swinney on 29 September 2015, what discussions it has had regarding changes to the NHS Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006 since the answer was provided.

Answered by John Swinney (01/12/2015):
I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

Current Status:: Holding Answer issued by John Swinney on 01/12/2015

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-28463&DateTo=11/28/2015%2011:59:59%20PM&SortBy=DateSubmitted&Answers=All&SearchFor=All&ResultsPerPage=10


119. The Scottish Parliament, 2 Dec. 15 - Question from Alison McInnes

Question S4W-28464: Alison McInnes, North East Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/11/2015
To ask the Scottish Government further to the answer to question S4W-27521 by John Swinney on 29 September 2015, whether it plans to make any changes to the NHS Central Register (Scotland) Regulations 2006 through (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation and, if so, (i) what changes and (ii) whether this will be introduced before the end of the Parliamentary session.

Answered by John Swinney (02/12/2015):
I refer the member to the answer to question S4W-28458 on 2 December 2015. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx.

Current Status:: Answered by John Swinney on 02/12/2015

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-28464&DateTo=11/28/2015%2011:59:59%20PM&SortBy=DateSubmitted&Answers=All&SearchFor=All&ResultsPerPage=10


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