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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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    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    NIR: Is this our knight in shining armour??

    It's not surprising given his previous concerns over function creep and the National Identity Register (NIR), but - Damn - it's good to hear from him! Both IWR Blog and Out-Law report that the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, is demanding new powers from Parliament. He wants to "balance out an encroaching amount of surveillance technology," he told the Home Affairs Select Committee, with some checks to ensure that identity mistakes, security breaches and unnecessary intrusion into people’s lives do not take place. According to IWR,
    Thomas told the BBC that it was “wrong” the ICO was not allowed to check up on organisations unless they consented to it. “People now understand that data protection is an essential barrier to excessive surveillance” he said “But it is wrong that my office cannot find out what is happening in practice without the consent of each organisation”
    I wonder if he also feels that it is 'wrong' that information held in Government databases can fall outside of data protection legislation.

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