ContactPoint database under security spotlight


The Government's controversial ContactPoint database has allegedly already experienced security breaches before it has even been officially launched, according to reports.

An investigation by the Daily Telegraph suggests that three of the 20 pilot sites in London, Staffordshire and Surrey have already come up against security issues.

The database was proposed following the murder of Victoria Climbi back in 2000 to help safeguard vulnerable children and is set to hold information on all of the 11 million children in the UK, including names, ages and addresses.

One breach that was considered serious reportedly saw two staff at a London city council losing details of children that had only been stored in an envelope.

The Telegraph also discovered through a freedom of information request that over 50,000 people have asked for their details to be kept off of the lists amidst security fears.

Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are against the database and have said that were they to come into power at the next general election the scheme would be scrapped.

However, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has defended the scheme and played down the breaches.

"Security is of paramount importance for ContactPoint and a significant set of measures and controls are in place," said a government spokesperson, in a statement.

"In the small number of instances where unusual activity has been detected or suspected, the local authorities involved immediately investigated and took the correct course of action."

"None of these incidents led to data in ContactPoint being compromised, none involved any data being printed or downloaded from ContactPoint, and there is no evidence that any of these instances indicated malicious intent."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.