Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Erasing David

I've been watching Erasing David on TV tonight. Its about a British man who puts himself under surveillance and then attempts to disappear because apparently Britain is one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world. I would never have thought of it that way, but it is scary how much information can be pulled up so easily.

What was really worrying was the examples of corrupt data that were shown on the programme, people whose lives had been destroyed by glitches in the system which produced criminal records for them as a result of having a similar name and date of birth to other people.

There was a case where 39 people committed suicide as a result of being falsely accused of sex offences as a result of some data corruption. They were fully cleared, but years later it kept showing up on their records and no one knew where from.

The man in question is becoming extremely paranoid. I don't blame him either. He's gone to hide in the Welsh mountains, and I would too. Historically its been a pretty safe bet if you're trying to keep a low profile.


  1. I hear many anecdotes about Britain these days along the lines of this post. The ones that worry me particularly are the ones about people who defend themselves against criminals and get prosecuted. And also the ones about getting harassed by the police for expressing opinions that are considered uncouth. It's a view from afar and I hope it isn't right.

  2. Interesting. I have never thought of the amount of time I am on CCTV as intrusive. I just figure if I am just going about my life, who cares who is watching me ? i am afraid you wouldn't get me to go to the Welsh mountains for anything!

  3. I'm not bothered about the CCTV either. But the pile of information they had on his daughter who must have been less than 18 months old was surprising. The bit that freaked me out was these mysterious data bases which had people recorded as being guilty of crimes that they were never accused of, tried for or sentenced for which turned up on CRB checks because they had a similar name or date of birth to someone who had committed them. The kind of administrative errors which could ruin your life and nothing being done about it.

    The Welsh mountains are beautiful. Just wait til I win the lottery and open a boutique hotel, you will come ;-)