My most important digital pledge would be ...

I will support all measures that allow people access to their personal data held by others

I further support restoration of control over how personal data is gathered, managed and shared to the individual.

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    AdminTom Watson (Admin, Digital Pledges) shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    6 comments

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      • tomatosquid commented  · 

        @wmheath If used for big business and big government, no problem. If that is what is intended, these limits need to be written into the proposal otherwise as we have learned from other legislation there is a danger that small organizations and individuals will face disproportionate costs and bureaucracy associated with compliance; the effect will be to limit the extent to which they can engage with digital innovation. Otherwise, what is to stop someone demanding that the milkman, newsagent, schoolteacher, doctor or local MP collates and delivers any personal information they hold, regardless of its sensitivity or value?

      • wmheath commented  · 

        This is surely about single-button subject access requests from major public services, and then in due course about driving public services from personal portable healthm education records. It's about smart meters where the homeowner who pays the bills owns and controls the data, not the government and not the energy company. It's about individuals realising the value of their own data. This is really important, and forward looking. It's not about the milkman (but hey - I wish I had one!)

      • Mark Goodge commented  · 

        I broadly agree with tomatosquid here. While I support the principle of access to personal data, I can foresee it becoming a significant regulatory burden on smaller businesses and sole traders unless the scope is clearly defined. Even with the ability to levy a charge for the provision of information, it's still a major time waster for a business with few staff. I think there has to be some kind of exclusion for information that's simply too trivial to need that level of control.

      • tomatosquid commented  · 

        I agree with the general principle, and it is sensible for e.g., large commercial and government organisations. But without wishing to labour the point, the danger is that unless limits are placed on this type of provision, the costs do not scale with the amount of data held, or the number of applications to access the data. Everyone, you, the newsagent, the milkman has to put in complicated mechanisms for finding and collating all the personal data just *in case* someone asks. A lot of data is uncontentious and obvious (e.g., the newsagent knowing your name and address so that s/he can deliver the paper, your website storing my email address so that I can login and comment) and this sort of data ought to be excluded from unnecessary, costly and potentially malicious scrutiny.

      • AdminTom Watson (Admin, Digital Pledges) commented  · 

        OK, I get the point. But FOI allows a reasonable cost charge. Last time I ordered a paper copy it was 10p a sheet for example. Yet I understand the point you make.

      • tomatosquid commented  · 

        Any legislation needs to ensure that the costs of these measures are limited and proportionate. Tom, think how much it would cost you and your staff to allow people access to all the data you hold on them. What about the local newsagent or milkman?

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