Wednesday, November 08, 2017

More good riddance

National's privacy-invading social investment approach is now "under review":

The big-data, intricate-detail approach to lifting vulnerable families out of poverty is up for review, with the new Labour Government confirming it would be "repackaged".

That would likely include reducing the level of data collected, so vulnerable people could not be identified at an individual level and removing the reporting on welfare liability dependency, the new Social Development Minister has confirmed.


Carmel Sepuloni said the former Government's social investment strategy would undergo significant changes. Work to overhaul the toolkit that guided nearly every social spend the National Government made was already underway.

"We don't agree with New Zealanders being deemed potential liabilities for the state. With that negative stigma put on New Zealand citizens, with them being deemed potential risks and predictive risk modelling used to assess risk," said Sepuloni.

Good. Because while there's obvious merit in thinking long-term and analysing policy outcomes, National's approach was intrusive and viewed people as costs, not citizens. Not to mention founded on quack. It also involved combining information that should never be combined into one awful Big Brother database so they could mine it for new ways to fuck people over and deny them services - naturally, without seeking anyone's consent. And then setting up a dedicated propaganda agency to try and convince us that it was all OK (sorry: build "social licence" for data-sharing). Hopefully we'll be seeing changes in both those areas: less information in the IDI, more restrictions on access, legal prohibitions on access by police or intelligence agencies, and the disestablishment of the Data Futures Forum, alongside the shift away from National's penny-pinching "actuarial approach".