Annette Brooke MP
Annette Brooke MP (Liberal Democrat) MP for Mid Dorset & North Poole
Children's Digital Rights
Concerned about the fingerprinting of kids in schools has asked several questions in parliament, has made comments in the press and has made press releases on the subject.
Written question Pupils: Data Protection 21 January 2008
- To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to prevent school staff removing unencrypted sensitive pupil data from school premises.
Written question Biometrics: Fingerprints 21 January 2008
- To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will commission a review of the academic literature on the reversibility of biometric templates to recreate fingerprints.
Written question Schools: Biometrics 21 January 2008
- To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will commission an independent assessment of the security of biometric systems used in schools (a) in libraries, (b) in canteens and (c) for registration.
Liberal Democrat press release quotes Annette Brooke Review should ask whether child database is fit for purpose 27 November 2007
- "It is a shame that it has taken the disastrous loss of HMRC data to convince ministers to reconsider this vast database."
- "The announced review of security should be expanded to ask whether ContactPoint will actually help to coordinate children services better rather than creating another expensive bureaucratic mess."
- "The ease with which local government employees can access personal details of any child in the country is only one reason why this database simply isn’t fit for purpose."
Commenting on a report detailing the serious dangers that exist from the growth of government databases on children produced by the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR). BBC News Database details 'harm children' 22 November 2006
- "This report raises real concerns that human rights and data protection laws will be violated."
Annette Brooke writing in Children Now - Liberal Democrat Policies for Children 8 September 2004
- Information sharing: The Liberal Democrats support the principle of a simple 'information database' with objective data for children but have very many questions and concerns about how this will work in practice. There is very little information on the face of the Bill, and we would wish for much more detail on how the government proposes it would work.
Annette Brooke wrote EDM 446 Contactpoint 29 November 2007
- That this House notes the announcement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families of the deferral of the implementation of ContactPoint to allow for an independent assessment of its security procedures by Deloitte and to address the changes to ContactPoint that potential system users have suggested, but regrets that this review will not extend to the design and content of ContactPoint; expresses concern over the safety implications of such a vast database containing potentially sensitive information in the light of security breaches at HM Revenue and Customs; further expresses concerns about the projected costs of ContactPoint; notes the conclusion of the House of Lords Select Committee on Merits of Statutory Instruments that the Government has not conclusively demonstrated that a universal database is a proportionate response to the problem being addressed; and therefore calls upon the Government to reconsider its decision to proceed.
Signed Early Day Motion 686 Biometric Data Collection in Schools 19 January 2007
- That this House is alarmed at the growing practice of schools collecting and storing the biometric details of children as young as three; notes that up to 3,500 schools use biometric software to record the data of approximately three quarters of a million children; shares parents' concerns that children's data, often including photographs and fingerprints, is stored on unregulated data collection systems and potentially insecure school computer networks and could therefore potentially be misused; notes that collecting the data from children under 12 without parental consent directly contravenes the Data Protection Act; believes that no child should have biometric information taken without the express written permission of their parents; further believes that no child should be excluded from school activities where this permission is not forthcoming; welcomes the decision by the Department for Education and Skills to update guidance to local authorities and schools; and calls on the Government to conduct a full and open consultation with stakeholders, including parents and children, on this issue as part of their redrafting process.
Freedom of Information
Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006
- That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.
Signed Early Day Motion 1697 Use of the DNA database 27 Febuary 2006
- That this House expresses its concern about the retention of DNA data taken from children aged 10 to 18 years who have never been charged or cautioned with any offence; notes large regional differences in retention policy between various police forces; and believes that this imbalance is being further exacerbated by the Government's unwillingness to issue clear guidelines to chief constables about the removal of innocent children from the National Police DNA Database.
Open Source Software
Signed Early Day Motion 179 Software in Schools 21 November 2006
- That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.
- Annette Brooke MP Website
- Annette Brooke MP TheyWorkForyou.com
- Annette Brooke MP Liberal Democrats Profile
- Annette Brooke MP
- 2012-04-03 - Guardian - Liberal Democrat MPs stand up for data privacy
- Summary: Following worrying reports of possible government proposals to collect real-time information on people's activity online, including from social media sites, 16 Liberal Democrats signed a letter to make clear commitment to civil liberties and protecting privacy, and demand confirmation from the Government that it will publish draft legislation with sufficient time for consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny.
- 2008-02-22 - Liberal Democrat press release - Government database on children should be scrapped
- Author: Annette Brooke MP
- Summary: The Liberal Democrats have repeated their call for the Government database containing details on every child in the UK to be scrapped, following the publication today of an independent review into its security. Information about every child’s name, address, their parents or guardians, as well as contact details for each government service they use, was going to be added to the ContactPoint database. Commenting Liberal Democrat Children, Young People and Families Spokesperson, Annette Brooke said: "This review undermines all of the Government’s previous assurances that the database would be secure. With doubts about security remaining, this intrusive project should be scrapped." "Instead of paying for expensive consultants, ministers should have listened to what I and many organisations were saying when the plans were debated last July." "The Government has proven itself untrustworthy with large databases containing sensitive data. Parents have every right to demand that when it comes to their children’s personal details, the tightest security measures are essential."
- 2007-11-27 - Liberal Democrat press release - Review should ask whether child database is fit for purpose
- Author: Annette Brooke MP
- Summary: The Liberal Democrats have called for a security review of the ContactPoint database, announced today, to be expanded to investigate whether the entire project is ‘fit for purpose’. On Monday, the Liberal Democrats called for a review of the security of the controversial online database that will hold personal details of every child in the UK. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Children, Schools and Families Spokesperson, Annette Brooke MP said "It is a shame that it has taken the disastrous loss of HMRC data to convince ministers to reconsider this vast database." "The announced review of security should be expanded to ask whether ContactPoint will actually help to coordinate children services better rather than creating another expensive bureaucratic mess." "The ease with which local government employees can access personal details of any child in the country is only one reason why this database simply isn’t fit for purpose."
- 2007-11-26 - Liberal Democrat press release - New multi-million pound database puts children at further risk
- Author: Annette Brooke MP
- Summary: The Liberal Democrats have called for a review of the security of a new database containing the details of every child in the country. Information about every child’s name, address, their parents or guardians, as well as contact details for each government service they use, will be on the ContactPoint database, available online, by next year. The security of the database has come under fresh scrutiny following the loss of details of child benefit recipients by HMRC. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Children, Families and Young People Spokesperson, Annette Brooke MP said "The Government has proven itself not to be trusted with large databases containing personal details." "The failure of security procedures by HMRC has left millions of parents extremely worried and raises questions about the safety of other records stored by the Government." "Ministers must urgently review the security of the ContactPoint database as its highly sensitive information could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands." "The Government has said that extra unspecified safeguards will be put in place for children of celebrities but why shouldn’t everyone enjoy this privilege?" "There could be more than financial costs if the addresses of vulnerable children from a family separated because of domestic violence, for example, are not kept secure."
- 2006-11-22 - BBC News - Database details 'harm children'
- Summary: Serious dangers exist from the growth of government databases on children, a report has said. The Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) said guidelines ignored family values and privacy. The study was carried out for the Information Commissioner's Office which said the details on databases need to be "looked at carefully". ... Liberal Democrat families spokeswoman Annette Brooke said: "This report raises real concerns that human rights and data protection laws will be violated."
- 2004-10-28 - Community Care - Database clause on Children Bill fails
- Summary: Opposition MPs failed last week to have more details included in the Children Bill about the workings of the proposed information databases on all children. As the bill was debated at committee stage, Liberal Democrat MP Annette Brooke said there were "still too many questions and not enough answers" about the databases.
- 2004-09-08 - Children Now - Liberal Democrat Policies for Children
- Author: Annette Brooke MP
- Summary: Information sharing: The Liberal Democrats support the principle of a simple 'information database' with objective data for children but have very many questions and concerns about how this will work in practice. There is very little information on the face of the Bill, and we would wish for much more detail on how the government proposes it would work.