AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The Dutch government plans to open an electronic file on every child at birth as a tool to spot and protect the troubled kids of the future.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, all citizens will be tracked from cradle to grave in a single database — including health, education, family and police records — the health ministry said Tuesday.
As a privacy safeguard, no single person or agency will be able to access all contents of a file. But organizations can raise “red flags” in the dossier to caution other agencies about problems, ministry spokesman Jan Brouwer said.
The intention is to protect troubled children, Brouwer said. Until now, schools and police have been unable to communicate with each other about truancy records and criminality, which are often linked.
“Child protection services will say, ‘Hey, there’s a warning flag from the police. There’s another one from school. There’s another one from the doctor,” Brouwer said. “Something must be going on and it’s time to call the parents in for a meeting.”
Every child will get a Citizens Service Number, making it easier to keep track of children with problems even when their families move, said Secretary of Health Clemence Ross.
“Safety, guidance, education and supervision are incredibly important for the development of children,” Ross said.
All Dutch births are currently registered with local authorities.
Doesn’t it always seem to be “for the children”? It has often been said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I claim it is paved with the skulls of the tens of millions of people, including children, who died at the hands of their own governments intent on doing good at any cost.
It must be the Dutch forgot about the little incident back in the late ’30s and ’40s when those type of records were found to be quite useful–when tracking down all the people with “Jewish blood”. And how is that “privacy safeguard” enforced? Is there anything that can’t be changed by a simple act of the lawmakers? As I said in the context of a U.S. Universal Biometric Identification the safeguards that I would require to be put in place in order to believe the contents of the database would not abused would cause the most enthusiastic Auschwitz guard to cringe at my creativity in punishment methods, violate numerous protections of the Bill of Rights, and probably inspire several additions to it. And, I now add, enforceable by any person anywhere on the planet that has a reasonable suspicion there was abuse of that database.