I thought that Parliament would provide the model of transparency, but it seems they are reluctant to disclose even who is on the payroll. Given the push for gathering more data about individuals, the identity card scheme and other concerns that have potential impacts on our privacy, surely they should lead by example.
This attitude also highlights the issues with any compulsory gathering of personal information- there will always be those that want or need to be excluded. For example, undercover police would have to be able to create false identities to be able to operate. If the capability to create false data or remove real data exists in the system then this will also somehow be exploited by criminal elements. When you create a system that is considered trusted, people often fail to question the accuracy of that system, creating a potentially greater risk than previously existed as false data would be trusted and the criminal therefore has a better cover.
The availability of a comprehensive data source on individuals is undoubtedly beneficial to law enforcement, however the feeling of privacy for the individual is equally important. I can see the need for privacy in Parliamentary and any organisational activity. If everything were truly transparent, every meeting minuted etc, there is a risk that people will not speak out in meetings for fear of the permanent record they create.
More thought is needed on this subject, but whatever the case we need a consistent example from the groups who are asking us to give up elements of our privacy.