Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Good riddance

One of National's nastier ideas in government was the mass-privacy-invasion of anyone using government-funded social services, so it could data-mine them, find out who was expensive, and cook up new ways to cut off their support. The good news is that the new government is shitcanning that:

The government has confirmed it is dumping National's controversial data-for-funding plan that would have forced groups like Women's Refuge to hand over personal client details.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said she was scrapping the plan because it was dangerous and unnecessary.


"It wasn't working and there were issues with security around information, they had been advised by the NGOs and by the Privacy Commissioner and by the opposition political parties and a whole lot of other people that they shouldn't be doing it, so of course we're not going ahead with that."

Good riddance. National's privacy invasion had a real chance of deterring people from using these services. For National, that was a feature, not a bug, another way of saving money. But when the services are things like women's refuges, rape crisis centres, and counselling services, such an attitude is not only vicious, but also likely trades short-term savings for long-term costs. Not to mention just not treating people with the basic dignity they deserve. I'm glad the new government has a more respectful approach.