Government scraps central citizen data sharing project

The government has dropped plans for a centralised system for sharing data on British citizens in the face of cost, system integration and security concerns.

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The government has dropped plans for a centralised system for sharing data on British citizens in the face of cost, system integration and security concerns.

The Department for Work and Pensions had been creating a system called CISx, a development on the Oracle-based Customer Information System it uses.

The decision to stop progress on CISx was taken in March, as concerns rose over the complexity of integrating it with multiple systems in different departments. Potential security issues had been highlighted in particular.

The news means the Home Office will be without full access to the data held on CIS. And data from ID cards, which would have fed into the CISx system, will no longer be integrated after the Identity Scheme was dropped by the coalition government in May.

The original CIS system will continue to be used extensively by local authorities, the DWP and HM Revenue & Customs. But the other departments, as with the Home Office, will have access to only some of the CIS data, a DWP spokesperson confirmed.

The spokesperson said that the decision was made not to develop CISx any more “in order to provide better value for money, reduced complexity for security requirements, and to reduce the potential impact on the Department for Work and Pensions' Customer Information System”.

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