The Tory Party will scrap the government's controversial ContactPoint child database if elected.
The database, with entries for every child in England and Wales, has been repeatedly delayed and attacked by data protection groups. It was originally due to go live in April of this year, then October. It is now meant to be ready by January of next year. It was originally proposed following the review on data sharing for at-risk children after the murder of Victoria Climbié.
Problems include how to "shield" certain vulnerable children - like those of Members of Parliament. There are also fears, given the government's hopeless record, on how secure the database will be. There have been complaints too of "project creep", as it seems likely police will get access to the database for investigations.
Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove told the Daily Telegraph: "ContactPoint can never be secure. We are taking this action because we are determined to protect vulnerable children from abuse - ContactPoint would increase that risk. The government has proved that it cannot be trusted to set up large databases, and cannot promise that inappropriate people would not be able to access the database."
Gove said the Tories would propose a smaller database for children moving from one local authority to another, if there were concerns. He said it would be irresponsible to implement a database which was likely to pose a danger to children.
The news will be officially released tomorrow after a Tory Party conference speech by Michael Gove.
Tory Party press officers were unable to provide more details before that speech is given. Though given that Gove has already spilled the beans, it seems the Tories also have a few lessons to learn in protecting data.®