Government delays scrapping of ContactPoint

Phil Muncaster writes on the V3 web site:

The coalition government has decided not to shelve the controversial ContactPoint database immediately, saying instead that its operations will be scaled down gradually.

ContactPoint was designed to improve child protection by increasing the amount of information shared between government departments. It holds information on all children under the age of 18.

However, it can be accessed by at least 330,000 people, and has been heavily criticised for reasons of privacy, security and child protection.

Scrapping the database was a key pledge of the Conservative manifesto and, along with abolishing ID cards and relaxing rules on the retention of DNA records, formed a major part of the coalition’s civil liberties agenda.

But in a letter to directors of children’s services, director general of the Department for Education, Tom Jeffrey recognised the “significant investment” that has already been made in developing the database and its supporting infrastructure.