Month: March 2017

Brexit for geeks: a briefing for digital professionals

Brexit

Today Theresa May has pulled the trigger to begin the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union. (This is likely to lead to Scottish independence and the reunification of Ireland, thereby ending the United Kingdom and reducing England and Wales to an atrophied rump, but we’ll deal with that another day.) We have had nine months to digest what Brexit will mean for the digital industries and for those of us working in […]

Named Persons II: Scotland’s next mass civilian database

UK policy

Last week I was chatting with some rather cracking professional digital rights activists. The conversation included my attempt to get them, from their London/English perspective, to understand the different cultural approach to mass data collection and databases that we live with here in Scotland. All too often, data collection projects which would be seen as violations of privacy, data protection, and the right to private life anywhere else are seen as “unquestionably legitimate and benign” […]

A woman’s place is in the House (of Commons)

Brexit

Parliament carried on as usual today. Parliament carried on because the people of this country had questions that needed answers. In Parliament’s first hour of business on the morning after, I was one of them. Hansard records that my MP, Kirsten Oswald, put my question forward as this: T8. My constituent Heather Burns works in the digital economy. She has only ever known a borderless, connected world of work. Can the Secretary of State reassure […]

The UK Government Digital Strategy is out, and it’s rubbish

UK policy

On 28 February the UK Government published its Government Digital Strategy. (A mea culpa first. I had confused the Government Transformation Strategy, the internal blueprint for Whitehall digital, with the external strategy. I suspect I was not the only one, given how obstructive the government has been in the fifteen months it fluffed excuses.) That being said, I can tell you that the Government Digital Strategy – the document focusing on the external big picture […]