In association with heise online

15 February 2008, 11:20

Forget Facebook. Soon, every single aspect of your life will be in the public domain anyway, courtesy of the government. The latest scheme, under the innocuous name of "Managing Information Across Partners", is a centralised database of qualifications that will hold the educational records of everyone from age 14 onwards. All school children will be given a unique numerical ID that, unlike the present "pupil number", will remain active right through to retirement, and all their exam marks will be available for inspection by third parties.

The project has been in pilot since September last year and a full roll-out is planned in the very near future. From March 2008, according to the MIAP web site "Learners will be able to access their own Learner Record via the internet" - an essential service that is promised to be secured to government standards. How have we coped to date with paper CVs? Ah, but that's the very nub of the matter. According to the Times, MIAP is being touted as offering "tamper-proof" CVs that prospective employers and educational establishments can gain access to. The government clearly sees the need to step in to prevent us fiddling our job applications - a shocking national-scale problem that can only be solved by docketing every exam taken by every single person in the country on a central database and making it available to vast numbers of agencies and strangers. Clearly, employers cannot be relied upon to do their own checking, any more than we can be trusted not to lie about our exam passes.

Where this tracking mania will stop is anyone's guess, but probably well over the borders of Kafka-land. I'm waiting for a centralised record of every groceries purchase to be made available to the Nutrition Police. Maybe I shouldn't have given them the idea...

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