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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Invading the personal id

    My personal dislike of and concerns about ID cards and the National Identity Register - as expressed before my most recent post on the topic, have to do with function creep, the sharing of data between government agencies - basically, the uses to which data about us will be put without our prior knowledge or consent. These postings can be retrieved here.

    A more primeval and instinctive concern, something which accords with my dislike of the prying tabloid form of journalism, is the basic dislike of being snooped on. Bruce Schneider writes eloquently and powerfully in WiredNews on The Eternal Value of Privacy. Given that he also uses my favourite quotation: "Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?", I think I like the guy! It is my favourite quotation because when it was first used (Juvenal, 1st/2nd Century AD), then as now, it strikes right to the heart of the matter: we may have put them there, but now they are there are we confident about what they can do? Well, I ask you folk, are we?

    The way things are going, those of us alive in 10 or 12 years time will be trackable in our cars and by our ID cards... and the information at the trackers fingertips will be legion.

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