Nov 10, 2010

BBC News - How ID card database will be destroyed

Meanwhile, back in the States we're handing out our personal information (address, date of birth, credit card info to match our official IDs) to every airline we book a flight on. Who knows how many files, machines, databases that info lands in.

This BBC article demonstrates the difference in attitudes toward privacy in the England versus here in the US. When it comes to destroying personal data the government takes personal data destruction seriously. As one document explains what the British government needs to do to destroy personal information it collected for an ID card system that is now discontinued:

It reads like a toxic waste disposal log, as any machine that has ever come into contact with the personal details contained on the database is either cleansed of its contents or fed into the shredder.
I was talking with a friend form England the other day about this situation. In England there is no assumption of privacy - given all the cameras and surveillance going on there - but they demand (legally) that collected information be treated as private and must be destroyed when it is no longer needed. In the US it's more the opposite. We assume privacy (undeservedly) and feel that if we aren't overtly being watched then the information isn't being collected. Yet we do not demand that the information be treated as private and who knows how it is managed or where it ends up.

BBC News - How ID card database will be destroyed

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