David Davis MP has slammed the government’s use of large IT databases on citizens, as he resigned from parliament.
The resignation is the latest vocal attack on the government’s IT databases, after the Home Affairs Committee urged the government to stop creating databases without first proving they are necessary.
The Conservative shadow home secretary said the narrowly-passed bill to allow terrorist suspects to be detained without charge for 42 days, combined with a vast ID cards scheme and a DNA database “bigger than any dictatorship has”, was resulting in the “slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms”.
The creation of a “database state” was “opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers and exposing our personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers”, he said. “This cannot go on, it must be stopped.”
He protested at the notion of “a CCTV camera for every 14 citizens, a DNA database bigger than any dictatorship has, with thousands of innocent children and a million innocent citizens on it”, adding: “We will have, shortly, the most intrusive identity card system in the world.”
The news also comes just weeks after the government shortlisted five IT suppliers on its ID card project and after plans were revealed that it wanted to make a database of all phone calls and emails in the UK.
Recently, IT industry commentators speaking to Computerworld UK said the government should also urgently reconsider the £12.4 billion NHS IT programme for a centralised database of patient records. And last year, HM Revenue & Customs lost 25 million child benefit records.