ICO Questions UK Government About Data Collection

Gov.uk is a central website for all government services

Gov.uk is a central website for all government services

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is questioning the UK government about its plans to gather data from the Gov.uk website, BBC News reports.

The inquiry comes after a Buzzfeed report claiming leaked documents showed the prime minister had ordered the website to be used as a platform for "targeted and personalized information".

The data would feed into Brexit preparations, it added. The government said its aim is to make public services easy to access.

However, the privacy rights campaign group Big Brother Watch claims that the report raises "questions as to the legitimacy, urgency and purpose of such personal tracking".

In a tweet the ICO said:

We have contacted government regarding the collection of personal data on Gov.uk in order to fully understand its approach to compliance with data protection law and whether any further action is necessary.

Gov.uk is a website that brings together all the government's services, allowing people to renew taxes, pay for passports and book driving tests.

Buzzfeed reported that Boris Johnson had said that the Cabinet Office had been instructed to turn Gov.uk into a "platform to allow targeted and personalized information to be gathered, analyzed and fed back actively to support key decision making" ahead of Brexit.

The news site added that Dominic Cummings, the prime minister's chief adviser, had emailed senior officials instructing them that it was a "top priority" to "get this stuff finalized ASAP".

The latest development comes a day after the Advertising Standards Authority said that it was following up complaints about a Brexit-related government advert.

Sources: BBC News

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