Wednesday, 28 May 2014

David Gauke MP and the UK's tax revolution 2

This is turning into a slow-motion political train wreck,
with the scandal
and the revelation
that the hospital episode statistics data sold to numerous companies
contained patient postcodes and dates of birth,
so the anonymity claims were simply false.

UK government departments and their agents store reams of personal information about us. They have to, to do their job.

That data is kept confidential. There are certain uses to which it can legitimately be put. Beyond that – verboten.

There are always poachers circling the game reserve. Most recently, it was Stephan Shakespeare. Then Tim Kelsey. And then David Gauke.

They all want to make more personal data available to researchers or entrepreneurs, to improve policy-making, to improve administration, to stimulate growth in the economy or to make medical break-throughs.

It is questionable whether any of those objectives would be achieved.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The non-existent personal-data control-shift

DMossEsq's millions of readers may have got the wrong impression of Ctrl-Shift – "The opportunities for organisations arising from a new personal information economy are game changing. Ctrl-Shift is the world’s leading market analyst and consulting business helping organisations to capitalise on these opportunities".

Saturday, 24 May 2014

GDS, G-Cloud, user needs and security

How would you make G-Cloud less attractive
and slow down take-up even more?

All change round at G-Cloud. Again.

They're full of surprises.

Especially since they came under the control of the Government Digital Service (GDS) on 1 June 2013.

So what is it this time?

Accreditation. It's on the way out.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Can website designers "challenge" UK government policy?

Writing 18 months ago about Martha-now-Lady Lane Fox's call for a revolution in the UK, we noted among others this demand:
Directgov should own the citizen experience of digital public services and be tasked with driving a 'service culture' across government which could, for example, challenge any policy and practice that undermines good service design.
In the event, the revolutionary cadre implementing the new dispensation is GDS, the Government Digital Service, and not Directgov. GDS's skill lies in designing websites. Can website designers "challenge" UK government policy?

Monday, 19 May 2014

RIP IDA – mooncalf economics

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but, just in case it isn't obvious to all, IDA is dead.

IDA is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme. And it's dead.


3 December 2011
It's two-and-a-half years since we first looked at Ctrl-Shift Ltd, the consultancy firm.

They had recently published a report, The new personal data landscape. Their claim was that national economic growth will be achieved if only we all of us make it easier for companies to know all about us. If we would just release all of our personal data, then "Ctrl-Shift’s research finds that the market for these new streams of information could grow to be worth £20bn in the UK over the next ten years" (p.14).

Friday, 16 May 2014

GDS and security, Mae West and Estonia (Mae Westonia?)

Who cares?
The latest example of GDS's inability
to take security seriously

Servicemen during the Second World War kept their morale up in many ways. Among others by having pin-ups, dear old Mae West among them.

70 years later, the wars are different, sentiment has moved on and the front line in digital services has a new pin-up – Estonia.

Some things never change, of course. The fascination with vital statistics, for example – only the other day, there was Jordan Hatch of GDS, the UK Government Digital Service, transfixed by Estonia's dashboard :)

Monday, 12 May 2014

GDS's achievement

That was GDS's proud claim made at the Sprint 14 celebration this year – "we've achieved so much". But is it true?

GDS is the Government Digital Service and their mission is to transform government by making public services digital by default – "we are the show", said their executive director, Public Servant of the Year ex-Guardian man Mike Bracken CBE, in a speech (17'39") to the Code for America conference last October. Is that true? Are GDS the show?

Monday, 5 May 2014

David Gauke MP and the UK's tax revolution 1

Literally millions of DMossEsq's readers have responded to his post about the plans to sell taxpayer records and implored him to read HMRC's 17 July 2013 consultation document, Sharing and publishing data for public benefit. Which he now has.