What will the coalition do for business and technology?

As Cameron and Clegg release their policy promises for the newly formed coalition Government, we boil down the 34 pages to let you know what will affect your business and the technology sector in the UK.

These samples would be kept for three years before being destroyed, with the possibility of a two year extension by applying to a sheriff at the end of the period.

The document said the Government would put an end to the storage of internet and email records "without good reason," removing the blanket approach of the previous party in power.

It also said the Government would outlaw fingerprinting of children at school without parental permission, and further regulate CCTV - although in-depth details on the latter were not given.

Superfast broadband

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The Labour figure of 2Mbps wasn't written into the document, but there was a strong statement from the coalition reaffirming both parties' dedication to bringing superfast broadband to all.

It read: "We will introduce measures to ensure the rapid roll-out of superfast broadband across the country."

"We will ensure that BT and other infrastructure providers allow the use of their assets to deliver such broadband, and we will seek to introduce superfast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas."

The statement also confirmed the Government would consider using part of the TV licence fee, currently meant for the digital switchover, to fund broadband in rural areas that private industry has yet to provide for.

Publishing online

The superfast broadband for all is sure to come in handy over the next five years with the amount of data the Government has pledged to publish online in that time.

Only one of the policies focused on the private sector, with the Government pushing for credit card companies to provide better information for customers through a standardised electronic format so they can work out how to get the best deal.

However, most of the policies focused on opening the doors to the public sector and letting us see what was going on inside.

This included public bodies publishing the job titles, salaries and expenses of every senior civil service official, publishing all central Government spending and contracts over 25,000 and publishing every ICT contract.

The Government will also publish where it sends aid to, all Whitehall job vacancies and detailed data on the performance of healthcare providers.

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Open source Open source vendors will be celebrating today, as the Government is encouraging its use in Whitehall.

The document said: "We will create a level playing field for open source software and will enable large ICT projects to be split into smaller components."

There has been growth in the take up of open source in the public sector, but placing it into a policy document like this is likely to give it quite a boost.

But what about NHS IT?

Despite the lengthy document listing a vast number of policies, the surprise omission was the NHS National Project for IT (NPfIT).

Both parties had expressed dismay at the amount of money being spent on the project before they came into power, but they seem to have so far decided to keep quiet now their feet are under the table of power.

Two points vaguely referenced it. First there's the aforementioned promises to break down massive ICT contracts. Second, there's this reference: "We are committed to reducing duplication and the resources spent on administration, and diverting these resources back to front line care." Make of that vague statement what you will.

If you would like to read the coalition document in full, click here.

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