In-depth

NO2ID on fighting the database state

We spoke to Phil Booth, national coordinator for NO2ID, about privacy issues and taking on the "database state".

The issue of privacy and personal data security has become increasingly pertinent in recent months.

With the Google Wi-Fi scandal and Facebook privacy concerns making their way into mainstream news headlines, the issues are perhaps now being considered by the general public as serious as they should be.

NO2ID, an independent campaigning body established in 2004, recently had some good news in the form of the eradication of the ID card scheme, but it is still fighting to bring an end to the "database state".

We spoke to Phil Booth, NO2ID's national coordinator, about the current concerns being taken up by the group and more general privacy and data problems affecting us all.

Now the government has scrapped ID cards, what areas is NO2ID working on?

We [work] across a very broad range for a single issue group. [We cover] so many different areas, we can be popping up anywhere. We've got stuff coming up on smart meters, for example.

What are your problems with government systems, such as data entering on websites?

I'm simply frustrated by the system and I'm a smart guy. Think about the poor, barely literate folk coming out of school, struggling to get a job there is the criteria on the systems and the forms and stuff they have to confront, is it any wonder that people start bailing out?

[Some] play the system rather than engage with the system. It is probably just about as much effort to work with it as work against it not that I'm condoning it.

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