Knowing me, knowing you

Bigger databases may mean greater efficiency for the state and private sector, but they could also mean more unwelcome intervention into our personal lives. SA Mathieson reports

In 2004, I spoke to up and coming MP David Cameron (my local MP, who I profiled here) about his opposition to government database plans such as identity cards. In 2011, as prime minister, he caused this to happen.

All articles on ID cards.

Read more about ID cards in my book, Card declined: How Britain said no to ID cards, three times over – including the full version of the interview with David Cameron. Continue reading “Knowing me, knowing you”

Those who scan, do: Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)

First appeared in Health Service Journal, 10 June 2004

The use of digital imaging systems within the NHS has been on the verge of taking off for some years – but hasn’t. That is set to change this year when a combination of central initiatives dramatically unfreezes the potential for progress at a local level.

On 1 May, the National Programme for IT announced deals with GE Medical Systems to provide picture archiving and communications systems in three local service provider clusters, with Philips and Kodak with ComMedica winning one LSP contract apiece. The systems will be installed from this summer, with national coverage planned for completion in three years.
Continue reading “Those who scan, do: Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)”

Eyes on the child

The Soham murder trial highlighted the use of mobile phone tracking. But how effective is the technology for consumers, asks SA Mathieson

A look at the accuracy of mobile phone tracking services for the Guardian, and the ethics in using them to track children. I have also written about how networks track users and how the technology is used by the emergency services.
Continue reading “Eyes on the child”

The country switches on

Broadband is finally conquering rural areas – and just in time for many businesses, writes SA Mathieson

In 2003, the slow spread of rural broadband was a real issue for businesses in the countryside. It seemed that most people in Pinkney read the Telegraph or Mail, but they were kind enough to speak to me anyway. Another Guardian article on how telephone exchange-based broadband works here, with a 2012 update here. Continue reading “The country switches on”