Misuse of Computerised Personal Files - Legal and Technical Considerations, with Particular Reference to Certain Applications of Real-Time Systems in Local Government

  • A.C.J. Hawker

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The thesis describes the use of personal information by local authorities in their routine administration, and extrapolates some conclusions about problems of processing this information in a computerised environment of the future.

    A model of privacy-risk situations is presented. The aim of this is to provide a basis for legal and technical analysis, by representing both human and technical factors.

    The law relating to privacy of information, the state of the art of techniques for controlling access to computer-stored information, and the role of information processing in local authorities, are each surveyed.

    Detailed studies of current practice in handling personal information are given in four areas, namely: Social Services, Housing, Education and Finance.

    Proposals are made for a combination of legal reforms and technical measures which would safeguard the interests of the individual about whom data is stored. Central to these is the idea of a "privacy label", used in conjunction with dispersed centres of control within the information system.
    Date of AwardApr 1974
    Original languageEnglish


    • computerised personal files - legal and technical considerations
    • real-time systems
    • local government

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