In April this year, the UK cabinet data sharing policy team put forward a plan to amalgamate databases that different government departments — namely, local services, schools, emergency services, etc. — have control over. This proposal comes in light of the fact that the U.K. government is having a tough time handling otherwise effortless tasks such as data sharing between different departments.
The idea is to link datasets from various government departments and provide a pool of information that is readily available within the system to policy makers and agencies in helping them carry out public services with minimized errors such as public money lost through fraud, error and debt which alone would save around £37 billion ($62 billion).
Presently, this remains a proposal and the Government is exploring the risks, benefits and limitations of data sharing within departments, and in turn, is engaging the public opinion to understand the people’s support for or against such a policy. Advocates of privacy would find this proposal bordering on intrusion but how the public is swayed on this, remains to be seen.
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(Image Credit: Greg Knapp)