October Roundup

On and on and on the Public Services Card rolls despite almost all the wheels having fallen off, even the mandatory but not compulsory wheels that have been hastily repaired and reapplied to the shambling mess as it drags itself from pothole to ditch to pothole. The potholes and ditches in this case are rules,…

August Roundup

August was a busy month as the already cracked veneer on the surface of the Irish state’s shambolic data acquisition and sharing projects shattered further. We were treated to a senior government minister denying she was splitting hairs while attempting a precision distinction between ‘mandatory’ and ‘compulsory’. Elsewhere it was (bad) business as usual for…

The Knowledge Gap [KitBits 17.11]

I was prompted to write this post, which had been rolling around the back of my head for quite some time, by this series of tweets by Simon McGarr. Do read them all. Privacy and data protection is not a dry legal issue, nor an incomprehensible technical thing best left to boffins. Data protection at…

End The Wordplay [KitBits 17.10]

The Irish Times reports this morning that a woman in her 70s has had her pension payments stopped because she refused to get the State’s certainly-not-mandatory Public Services Card and add herself to the national biometric identity register which the State is definitely not building. No doubt some ministers and officials in the departments of…

Just Some Light Tracking? That Could Cost You [KitBit 17.9]

The folks making sweeping wrongheaded decisions about large amounts of personal data gathering, storage and manipulation often appear to forget what’s behind the additional rows they want in their database to make their lives easier. People are behind the rows. Data is not the new oil, or any other natural resource analogy you can find in…

You Want To Do What Now? [KitBits 17.8]

As reported in the Irish Times by Elaine Edwards on Monday, the Irish Central Statistics Office has spent the best part of the last decade attempting to get its hands on mobile telephone data from visitors to the state and Irish travellers abroad, despite being told, essentially, to please stop by the office of the…

May Roundup

This month there’s a fair bit about advertising and the power which combining disparate buckets of information about you offers to the world’s advertising companies, large and small. The Irish state’s continued quest to issue three million biometric-capable identity cards it signed a contract for without explaining why it thinks these cards are needed is…