A Big Brother Watch investigation has found councils using huge amounts of highly personal data and predictive analytics to create covid risk scores with private data firm Xantura — and even predict who might break self-isolation.
It is stereotyping at its worst. We do not yet know where some of this data is sourced.
This extraordinary system, uncovered by our investigator Jake Hurfurt, includes a vast amount of data spanning “unfaithful & unsafe sex”, financial details, free school meals and dangerous pets.
“This underlines the shift toward mass surveillance and data harvesting triggered by the pandemic. It’s scandalous that councils are using experimental algorithms behind closed doors. We have a right to know how councils use our data to make decisions about our lives.” — Jake Hurfurt
“Is this really how we want to live, under the gaze of machines deciding what public services we shall be entitled to? Clearly there are potential benefits in getting help to people that need it – but we need to be reassured how that help is being decided on.” — Steve Baker MP
“It’s vital that at every level of government there is absolute transparency about what data is being collected and how it is being used. This is to ensure people’s personal data is protected and their privacy is respected.” — Jamie Stone MP