WIREDGOV NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
|Could this be an answer to rising knife crime?|
Blog posted by: Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, 09 July 2019 - Live facial recognition technology - data protection law applies.
Any organisation using software that can recognise a face amongst a crowd, then scan large databases of people to check for a match in a matter of seconds, is processing personal data.
For the past year, South Wales Police and the Met Police have been trialling live facial recognition (LFR) technology that uses this software, in public spaces, to identify individuals at risk or those linked to a range of criminal activity - from violent crime to less serious offences.
We understand the purpose is to catch criminals. But these trials also represent the widespread processing of biometric data of thousands of people as they go about their daily lives. And that is a potential threat to privacy that should concern us all.
LFR is a high priority area for the ICO. My office has been conducting an investigation, monitoring the trials carried out by the police. The relevant forces piloting this technology have cooperated with our investigation and the ICO has learned a lot from our deep dive in examining how it works in practice. Legitimate aims have been identified for the use of LFR. But there remain significant privacy and data protection issues that must be addressed, and I remain deeply concerned about the rollout of this technology, which represents a step change from the CCTV of old.
I believe that there needs to be demonstrable evidence that the technology is necessary, proportionate and effective considering the invasiveness of LFR.
Our guidance for police forces considering LFR is:
|We cannot afford to ‘replace & just throw away’|
The Environmental Audit Committee has launched a new inquiry into electronic waste and the circular economy. Deadline for written evidence is 16 August 2019.
The full terms of reference are available here, but in short the scope of the inquiry to explore progress to moving to a circular economy, the environmental & health risks associated with e-waste and the efficacy of the UK’s implementation of the WEEE Regulations.
The inquiry comes before a formal review of the UK’s regime for waste electrical & electronic equipment which is one of four areas where the UK has producer responsibility legislation in place which means that producers of electronics must pay for their collection, treatment & recycling at the end of their life. The review was announced last year in the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy and a consultation is expected in 2020.
techUK will be responding to the Environment Audit Committee inquiry drawing from its report of last year exploring activity to extend the life of electronics, improve the ability to repair & maintain them, and the sector’s vibrant refurbishment sector.We would welcome any case studies which can further illustrate the work the sector is engaged in and any additional views on areas where improvements need to be made, particularly in respect to illegal shipments of e-waste to developing countries. The deadline for comments to techUK is Monday 15 July.
|Electronic waste – WHO|
|Editor’s choice of other ICT items of note:|
|Just because they are ‘rare’ doesn’t mean their impact is small|
Baroness Blackwood spoke last week at the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit rare disease summer tea party at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Extracts from speech; Over the past years we’ve learned more and more about how our individual genetic make-up can lead us to develop a rare disease. And the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project has helped with that. The headline is of course that in December 2018, the 100,000 Genomes Project completed its sequencing phase – a fantastic achievement by NHS England, Genomics England and other partners.
The project has already delivered life-changing results for patients, with 1 in 4 participants with rare diseases receiving a diagnosis for the first time. We are still returning results to some patients and will make sure that this is a priority over the course of 2019.
Let me tell you about one of these participants – a 4-year-old little girl called Jessica. She had a rare condition that caused epilepsy and affected her movement development. From looking at her specific DNA, Jessica received a diagnosis – ‘Glut 1 deficiency syndrome’ – and as a result her doctor recommended a very specific diet that has helped reduce seizures for others with her condition. Jessica and her family were able to take immediate action, help control her epilepsy and improve her condition.
I’m delighted that based on the amazing achievements from the 100,000 Genomes Project, NHS England launched the Genomics Medicines Service (GMS), making our country the first in the world to integrate genomic technologies, including whole genome sequencing, into routine clinical care. And here’s the important part – seriously ill children who are likely to have a rare genetic disorder will be offered whole genome sequencing under the GMS. As demonstrated by Jessica and numerous others, we hope this will bring an end to the diagnostic odyssey for many ill children.
To continue cementing the UK as world leader in genomics, in February 2019 I announced that government is developing a UK Genomics Healthcare Strategy. I’m very pleased to say that the work is well underway and the strategy will provide a clear, national vision setting out how the genomics community can work together to will be ready for publication this autumn… so watch this space.Another very exciting initiative I want to share with you is the NHS insert, which I announced in February and the NHS are now implementing. The insert gives NHS England a way to hold providers to account and improve services for rare diseases. I have met with NHS England just this week, who have assured me that the insert has been included and will be monitored through the Quality Surveillance Systems, with trusts reporting on it for the first time this September.
|SME Supplier Locator update...|
UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s.
Against this ambitious backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.
|Helping children cope with 24/7 mental stress|
Pupils struggling with mental health are to benefit from more joined up care & support across schools, colleges and specialist NHS services, in a national roll out of a £9.3m training scheme.
Every school, college and alternative provision will be offered training through a series of workshops as part of the Link Programme, with the most appropriate member of staff from each put forward to take part alongside mental health specialists. This is designed to improve partnerships with professional NHS mental health services, raise awareness of mental health concerns & improve referrals to specialist help when needed.
The 4-year scheme will be led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, backed by the multi-£m government investment. It builds on 1,500 schools & colleges that have already taken up this training during the pilot stage of the programme, launched in 2015.
Starting in September 2019, the training will be rolled out to schools & colleges in phases over four years, being offered to up to 22,000 schools & colleges, including alternative provision settings. The Link Programme will deliver just under 1,000 training sessions across England involving 2 whole-day workshops for up to 20 schools at a time to cover all 22,000 schools, encouraging collaborative work so children do not fall between the cracks or experience poor transition between services.
One in nine young people aged 5 to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood. This package of measures is part of the Government’s plan to improve mental health support for children and young people, including identifying mental health issues before they become more acute.The announcements build on the Government’s wider investment in children’s mental health & wellbeing in schools and colleges, including compulsory health education lessons from 2020, to ensure every young person is given the tools to thrive despite challenges they may face growing up.
|Editor’s choice of other Health, Social care & Homelessness related items of note:|
|Editor’s choice of Business / Commercial items of note:|
|FRC: More needs to be done to promote diversity across all levels of FTSE 100 companies|
|Editor’s choice of Policy & General items of note:|
|Editorial commentary: EU still expects UK to contribute to EU 2019 budget|
Two EU press releases which indicate that the EU is not yet proposing cuts to its funding of the remaining 27 members of the EU.
The Council has adopted contingency measures on the implementation & financing of the 2019 EU budget in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The aim of the measures is to mitigate the impact of a no-deal scenario for funding in a wide range of areas such as research and agriculture.
They will enable the EU to continue making payments to UK beneficiaries for contracts signed and decisions made before the withdrawal date, as long as the UK continues paying its contribution agreed in the EU budget for 2019.
Under the agreed contingency framework, the UK would have to confirm in writing that it will contribute to the financing of the 2019 EU budget as adopted. It would also have to accept the necessary controls and audits for the EU programmes & actions, and make the first payment to the EU budget for the period after its withdrawal. Only if these conditions are met would the eligibility for financing by the EU budget in 2019 of the UK and UK-entities be maintained.
As the UK makes its contribution for the entire year of 2019, the UK and UK entities would also be eligible in 2019 for the purposes of conditions set in any calls, tenders, contests or other procedures which may lead to financing from the EU budget, except in specific cases related to security and to the loss of the UK's membership of the European Investment Bank.
In addition, the contingency measures would allow for the continued financing of beneficiaries in EU member states where their eligibility depends on the UK's membership of the EU, provided that the relevant legal contracts and decisions have been signed or adopted before the UK's withdrawal.
Comment: One presumes if the UK don’t make these Gross Payments to the EU, it could make them directly to the UK recipients, while keeping the ‘surplus’ funding that the EU gives to other EU Sates and distributing it within the UK?
EU ambassadors have agreed the Council's position on the 2020 EU draft budget. Once formally adopted by the Council, this will serve as a mandate for the presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament.
The agreed figures are based on the premise that the UK will continue to participate fully in the financing and implementation of the EU budget until the end of 2020.
Comment: If the UK does not contribute, there will be an approximate £8bn hole in the EU’s budget and that could be the least of there concerns!One notes that the Commonwealth population is over 5 times the size of a post Brexit EU!
More contributions to the Brexit process
Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’: