Issue-by-issue: parties' tech policies compared

Issue-by-issue: parties' tech policies compared

Summary: Tech election 2010: having spoken to a range of political parties, ZDNet UK lines up their tech policies on the key issues for a side-by-side view

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TOPICS: Government UK
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  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    BALANCE BETWEEN ONLINE PRIVACY AND COMMERCIAL INTERESTS

    Labour: insists the Digital Economy Act allows for consultation, full parliamentary scrutiny and a robust appeals process.

    Conservatives: welcome the Digital Economy Act; want to educate people about the "wrongs of illegal downloading".

    Liberal Democrats: worry about the lack of safeguards in Digital Economy Act regarding technical measures such as account suspension and bandwidth throttling; oppose the act's website-blocking provisions.

    Green Party: believes existing policy has favoured commercial interests over citizens' rights; supports online privacy and anonymity in all cases except where national security justifies a breach.

    Pirate Party UK: opposes any monitoring of people's internet connections; wants all "secretive surveillance" to be a criminal offence.

    UKIP: opposes the Digital Economy Act, based on the way it was hurried through the legislative process in the pre-election 'wash-up'.

    BNP: supports copyright law but opposes a crackdown on downloaders — thinks uploaders should be targeted instead.

    SNP: wants more collaboration with "global partners" to ensure harmonised laws; favours copyright enforcement but opposes the business secretary being able to amend copyright law without parliamentary scrutiny.

    Plaid Cymru: did not answer this question.

    Photo credit: David Meyer/ZDNet UK

  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    E-HEALTH POLICIES AND CONTRACTING PATIENT DATA OUT TO THIRD PARTIES

    Labour: says the NHS could no longer function without the National Programme for IT (NPfIT); promises to cut the costs of the programme.

    Conservatives: want patients to have greater control over their records.

    Liberal Democrats: did not answer this question.

    Green Party: wants patients to have access to own records; supports use of telemedicine; sees contracting-out patient data to third parties as unnecessarily risky.

    Pirate Party UK: supports a national NHS database if correctly implemented; supports the contracting-out of data by individual hospitals, as long as it is secure and patients give consent.

    UKIP: opposes the NHS Spine on the basis of patient privacy.

    BNP: strongly opposes the contracting-out of data to third parties; supports NPfIT but wants a review of it.

    SNP: is very keen on the use of e-health in remote and rural areas; opposes the contracting-out of patient data to third parties.

    Plaid Cymru: has no specific e-health policy.

  • TECH ELECTION 2010

    DATA PROTECTION AND BREACH NOTIFICATION

    Labour: says it has made sure civil servants and suppliers know about encryption and their responsibilities in protecting personal data.

    Conservatives: want the information commissioner and private sector to consider an industry-wide kitemark system of best practice for data security.

    Liberal Democrats: did not answer this question.

    Green Party: wants tougher penalties for organisations that do not comply with data protection laws; wants to give more power to the information commissioner.

    Pirate Party UK: sees the Data Protection Act (DPA) as "woefully inadequate"; wants to set a minimum level of security for all personal data held; wants a new right to compensation for data loss; wants data protection to be a criminal rather than civil matter.

    UKIP: did not answer this question.

    BNP: wants to amend the DPA to introduce more severe penalties for breaching data protection laws; draws on own experience of leaked membership list as example of "slap-on-the-wrist" punishment.

    SNP: wants data protection enforcement to be devolved from Westminster to Scotland; wants speedier data breach notifications.

    Plaid Cymru: did not answer this question.

Topic: Government UK

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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