Thursday, April 30, 2009

[data protection] snippets of shoddy practice

Sometimes it’s as well to go give yourself an hour and wade through inter-governmental reports, commissions on the reports and reports on the commissions, along with further analysis.

The movers and shakers rely on making the watchdog scrutiny of policy decisions like finding a needle in a haystack and the serious blogger who does take the time and writes his 32 page report on it – a DK or Unity, for example, is pushing faeces uphill to get the wider public to see, to understand and to accept this.

Below is a small example. Imagine you had a report on:

… also on:

… and the Statewatch report on that. Imagine you woke up, say, at 05:45 and for some crazy reason, saw a folder within a folder within a folder, containing these reports and you began to read them again. Imagine you came out with these snippets:

What conclusion could you come to?

Correct me if I’m wrong but this blogger concludes that despite Euro directives already in place, despite ongoing data protection discussions and despite the existence of Euro-courts and the like, a group of interior ministers had a meeting with a view to rushing through data availability, cross border data collection/sharing and our government went along with and supported this.

The problem with it is that the meeting was outside of EU law and yet the conclusions went back to National Parliaments and were pushed through without any discussion, without publicizing that it was even happening and presenting the bills as faits accompli, all amidst calls for greater transparency from others.

The bottom line is that your data in the UK is shared with other EU member nations, with no checks and balances and it’s at their whim if it gets out to the wider world. Thank you so much, Gordo’s warlocks and harpies.

I haven’t gone into any detail on the issue itself in this post and the snippets are hardly conclusive, merely indicative and yet, am I wrong in concluding that there is some very shoddy practice going on here which would have us subject to disciplinary proceedings and out on our ear if we were to try this on?

Another thing

One of the most frustrating things for the poor blogger who is even halfway serious is that he can bring the material to the readership [I’m referring to other poor sods, not myself here] and answer both serious and spurious questions on it in his comments section but how many people have actually waded through the material and how many see a block of print and tune out, rendering the work he’d put in to it well nigh irrelevant?

Sonus must feel frustrated that way.

How many bloggers write long winded posts, which is not to stay that the research was not impeccable and the conclusions not sound, only to turn around and click out of anyone else’s post if it goes much beyond five paragraphs, not really interested in the other’s take on it?

I’m still stunned by the blogger who went to … I forget, was it Mr. Eugenides [?] … and in response to an excellent post, commented, ‘My view is here,’ complete with hyperlink. He was, at least, being nakedly honest that he didn’t give a rat’s back passage what Mr. E had written but on the other hand, we readers were meant to go to his site and read his morsels of wisdom.

My unstated response to this man at the time was, ‘You can F off.’

Similarly, some years back, I had a friend who, in response to any statement I made, any statement at all, would automatically open his response with, ‘No,’ or ‘Not at all,’ or ‘You’re wrong there,’ thus dismissing everything I’d just said holus bolus. I’m sure he didn’t actually dismiss all, it was just his unfortunate mannerism.

He’d then proceed to state his own case, at least tacitly acknowledging them in his argument but as that argument was now couched in his own terms, it now had the official stamp of truth to it. When I’d point out that this had been largely what I’d been saying, he’d reply, ‘Not at all.’

Eventually he began saying, ‘I accept that but –’ which had the effect on me of at least wishing to continue dialogue with him for some years more.

None of which solves the problem of the gangsters at the top in our society.

Here's an interesting post on the biometrics and related issues.


CherryPie said...

I had a friend who, in response to any statement I made, any statement at all, would automatically open his response with, ‘No,’ or ‘Not at all,’ or ‘You’re wrong there,’ thus dismissing everything I’d just said holus bolus.I know someone just like that. I find them very irritating and predictable.

Depending on my mood I have two responses...

How did I know that you were going to say that?

Why do you always disagree/argue with what I say?

The typical response to the second statement always is - I didn't!

James Higham said...

You're more ladylike than me, I'm afraid.