Monday, 21 January 2008

Privacy and Other Matters for Public Record


How is it that our local councils have the right to ask our marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, nationality, income etc merely for emptying our dustbins (which we already pay them to do via our council tax), in long interminable questionnaires, when prospective employers are increasingly finding they have acted illegally and will be subject to large fines for asking prospective employees personal questions that are not strictly job-related, such as marital status, sexual orientation, religion and age?

And where does the Data Protection Act stand on either scenario? Not to mention when our own government keeps contravening it by losing vital data disks with thousands of our personal records including bank details on!

Good old Data Protection Act - it's always in the way when you don't need it (to prevent a colleague revealing another colleague's home phone number to ring and ask how they are after an operation for example), but where is it when you do?

Furthermore, while you can understand what a potential employer would probably do with personal information on an employee, what does my local council seek to do with its information on me? Let me withhold the segment of council tax I disagree with them spending on my behalf once they know all my beliefs, I wonder? All the money their pointless paper-wasting questionnaires and free glossy magazines boasting how their recycling quotas are rising spring to mind for starters...

7 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

Heartily agree, I'd tell you who this is but THEY are watching and you already know...

Steve said...

Too right. I'm no more paranoid or schizophrenic than the next person (who's standing right behind me, looking over my shoulder ALL the time and follows me home every night...) but I do think all this unnecessary information gathering and databasing of our most intimate details has sinister reasons behind it. Big Brother Orwell style is definitely here and the age of terrorism has heralded it in big time. We'll soon need biometric confirmation of our IDs just to buy teabags in the future...

The Sagittarian said...

They'll probably just put barcodes on new borns infuture, you know with all their infomration as to who they are, where born, their parents names and who they vote for......would rather have a bar tab myself!

Oliver said...

Yes, local government Fascists seem to be taking over the world.

They want to know everything about you; yet do they ask if you want to be council tax-ripped off, parking charge daylight-robbed, or generally have your money squandered on things you never dreamed of funding.

Councils are the modern closed shops.

A gravy train for those on board; a scandalous theft of public money for all others watching the loco pass down the track.

Unless, you can persuade them to fund a poetry evening (which I have not), in which case the brilliant morning sun would shine out of their lovely local government fundament!!

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh I am very naughty with such forms - they bring out the worst in me and I either refuse to complete them, put down incorrect information or choose "other" all the time.

Come to think of it, the bin men do give me rather strange looks from time to time, so perhaps the collation of the information does go down to the Coal Face.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

And why cannot we sue the government for contravening its own Data Protection Act when IT loses or mis-uses OUR data!

Bob said...

Frightening!