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Children: ContactPoint

Volume 712: debated on Monday 13 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to avoid data theft or loss from the ContactPoint database. [HL4633]

ContactPoint is an online directory to enable the delivery of co-ordinated support for children and young people. It will be the quick way for practitioners to find out who else is working with the same child. ContactPoint will contain basic identifying information about all children and young people in England up to their 18th birthday and contact details for their parents/carers and for services working with the child or young person—nothing more. It does not and will not contain any financial information (such as bank details) or case information (such as case notes, assessments, medical records, exam results, comments or subjective observations).

ContactPoint was developed, and is being implemented, taking a cautious, step-by-step approach. We are implementing ContactPoint in accordance with national information security policy and standards. ContactPoint therefore has a significant set of appropriate security measures and controls in place. Our security measures and management of those are continually assessed. This includes assessment by independent bodies, including, and approved by, CESG, the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance. All ContactPoint users must state clear reasons for accessing a child’s record and all use of the system will be subject to monitoring and audit. Sanctions are in place for misuse under the provisions of the Data Protection Act and Computer Misuse Act.