We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Gov't scraps super database

ISPs will hold their own records

A 'super database' that would have held details of every telephone conversation, text message, email and web visit in the UK has been scrapped by the government.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith admitted the database was an "extreme" solution that would have been an intrusion of privacy. Instead, ISPs and network operators will be expected to hold their own data privately.

This is expected to cost taxpayers up to £2bn over 10 years. ISPs are currently required by law to hold details of emails sent but not the content and only for 12 months.

"We recognise that there is a delicate balance between privacy and security, but to do nothing is not an option, as we would be failing in our duty to protect the public. However, to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store," she said.

The super database was first announced in May last year but attracted huge amounts of criticism over the privacy of the sensitive data and the potential security problems regarding how the data would be stored.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said: "You can tell an awful lot about some people's personal circumstances from the people they are talking to and the websites they visit. It is important that the proposals are tightly defined and minimise the level of intrusion, with appropriate safeguards in place".


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft launches Office for Android: Check the system requirements first

IDG UK Sites

8 reasons you should start a blog

IDG UK Sites

Dell's new Precision M3800 laptop has a 4K screen, Thunderbolt

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release date & UK price rumours: Watch 'not confirmed' for April release in UK says...