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Discussion: Why do so many benefit claimants seem obsessed with Data Protection issues

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I've just finished the work programme at Ingeus two weeks ago. Absolute waste of my life. But I think everyone who's been on it agrees - even the JCP advisers I've had agree but say it's just a hoop we have to jump through if we want our money.

 

But my question is why do so many people who have nothing - no money, no stake in society, no job, etc, get so obsessed with data protection issues, like it's the CIA trying to gain information on them? Who cares? Why does it matter if you sign a form or not? Is it just a way to hold on to a sense that we are still important even though we are at the bottom of society's barrel? Surely there are bigger battles to win in the fight against getting sanctioned than just being adversarial all the time on data protection technicalities?

 

I'll sign any form they want if it means I can keep getting my meagre benefit each week, short of the form that authorizes them sending me to the gas chamber, (Which judging by new reforms doesn't seem that long off).

 

Serious question though - based on my fellow WP contestants, why do the disempowered always get such a bee in their caps about 'data protection' all the time? The successful/rich people I've met never cared less about signing Data protection forms. Any insight?

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Ignorance or complacency isnt the best way to run things.


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My understanding is that there are several issues with the form signing. (just from what I've read on here, I have no direct WP experience).

 

 

The first is a belief that if the forms are not signed, then because the WP provider needs the form signed in order to chase job outcomes with future employers, that the WP provider therefore will not 'bother' the claimant as much - not sure if it works.

 

 

The second is a matter of principle - very rarely is the WP provider actually any help in securing employment, or training to help secure employment. If the form is signed they can get info from a future employer enabling them to claim their payment from the DWP. Some people do not, on principle, want the WP provider to get paid for something they haven't actually done.

 

 

The third is actual DP concerns. There have been cases of the WP employee harassing an employer and putting the new job at risk with their antics.


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My understanding is that there are several issues with the form signing. (just from what I've read on here, I have no direct WP experience).

 

 

The first is a belief that if the forms are not signed, then because the WP provider needs the form signed in order to chase job outcomes with future employers, that the WP provider therefore will not 'bother' the claimant as much - not sure if it works.

 

 

The second is a matter of principle - very rarely is the WP provider actually any help in securing employment, or training to help secure employment. If the form is signed they can get info from a future employer enabling them to claim their payment from the DWP. Some people do not, on principle, want the WP provider to get paid for something they haven't actually done.

 

 

The third is actual DP concerns. There have been cases of the WP employee harassing an employer and putting the new job at risk with their antics.

 

Thanks Estellyn - that makes sense. I just always felt the people around me who were refusing to sign only the data protection forms were doing it just to be paranoid that 'the man' might send a SWAT team to extract them because they were of such national concern, etc ;) IE/ a last impotent way to feel self-important in the face of an uncaring machine.

Edited by Werewolf

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I've just finished the work programme at Ingeus two weeks ago. Absolute waste of my life. But I think everyone who's been on it agrees - even the JCP advisers I've had agree but say it's just a hoop we have to jump through if we want our money.

 

 

The JCP advisors do indeed say this, but then they are just as bad if not worse than ingeus ones! :-(

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Thanks Estellyn - that makes sense. I just always felt the people around me who were refusing to sign only the data protection forms were doing it just to be paranoid that 'the man' might send a SWAT team to extract them because they were of such national concern, etc ;) IE/ a last impotent way to feel self-important in the face of an uncaring machine.

 

No, it's more a last act of self-defence by people who are otherwise defenceless. Not one person referred to the Work Programme believes that they are in any way personally important, or that the government will set up roadblocks and hunt them down should they fail to attend an appointment.

 

However, they can be protective of their personal information so that companies they perceive (with justification) as preying on them and attempting to take credit for the work they do to secure employment will find it more difficult to claim the reward for their success. And yes, there have been cases of WP providers harassing employers and so on - not saying they all do it, but it's not undue paranoia to at least consider the possibility.


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No, it's more a last act of self-defence by people who are otherwise defenceless. Not one person referred to the Work Programme believes that they are in any way personally important, or that the government will set up roadblocks and hunt them down should they fail to attend an appointment.

 

However, they can be protective of their personal information so that companies they perceive (with justification) as preying on them and attempting to take credit for the work they do to secure employment will find it more difficult to claim the reward for their success. And yes, there have been cases of WP providers harassing employers and so on - not saying they all do it, but it's not undue paranoia to at least consider the possibility.

 

But no-one has EVER got employment through the WP. We all know it, even the advisers know it too - it's the elephant in the room.

 

Sounds like you have a dog in this fight Antone? Do you take the devil's dollar perchance also? ;)

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Sounds like you have a dog in this fight Antone? Do you take the devil's dollar perchance also? ;)

 

I wouldn't say I have a "dog in the fight", no, unless you count reading the stories that people tell here, advising where I can, and reading up on the latest changes to the system. I haven't been on benefits of any sort for over a year now, and I don't work for a WP provider. I am a former benefit processor, having spent several years working for the DWP processing claims to ESA. It's coming up on four years since I left that job.


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I wouldn't say I have a "dog in the fight", no, unless you count reading the stories that people tell here, advising where I can, and reading up on the latest changes to the system. I haven't been on benefits of any sort for over a year now, and I don't work for a WP provider. I am a former benefit processor, having spent several years working for the DWP processing claims to ESA. It's coming up on four years since I left that job.

 

I used to work in a Job Centre (as was) in Lewisham, (south london), I got the T-shirt and the scars too ;) So you'll understand me when I say how amazing it will be in the coming weeks, after IDS new workfare sanctions kick in, when all those long term unemployed who are mandated to do 'voluntary' work, sign on every day or do community service like criminals suddenly all seek to transfer to ESA for 'Depression' or 'Anxiety' issues. lol.

 

My god - who WOULDN'T be anxious or depressed being on JSA for two years or more these days?

 

Werewolf x

Edited by Werewolf

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I've just finished the work programme at Ingeus two weeks ago. Absolute waste of my life. But I think everyone who's been on it agrees - even the JCP advisers I've had agree but say it's just a hoop we have to jump through if we want our money.

 

But my question is why do so many people who have nothing - no money, no stake in society, no job, etc, get so obsessed with data protection issues, like it's the CIA trying to gain information on them? Who cares? Why does it matter if you sign a form or not? Is it just a way to hold on to a sense that we are still important even though we are at the bottom of society's barrel? Surely there are bigger battles to win in the fight against getting sanctioned than just being adversarial all the time on data protection technicalities?

 

I'll sign any form they want if it means I can keep getting my meagre benefit each week, short of the form that authorizes them sending me to the gas chamber, (Which judging by new reforms doesn't seem that long off).

 

Serious question though - based on my fellow WP contestants, why do the disempowered always get such a bee in their caps about 'data protection' all the time? The successful/rich people I've met never cared less about signing Data protection forms. Any insight?

 

I think we should get a couple of things straight here

 

 

The difference between someone on benefits or on a low income and a successful rich person is that the rich person is on less databases (not just DWP ones) and therefore have less people having sensitive data about them, less chance of their personal information being used or seen by people without their consent or knowledge.

 

 

Lets take a couple of examples shall we?

 

 

council tax

 

 

A S/R person will pay by standing order or DD or even cash, his council have no information about him other than his name and address therefore there is no danger of his personal data being used without his knowledge - they don't have it.

 

 

People on benefits or low income have to apply for support, they have to give their DOB, copies of their bank statements, their income, people in their household and a wealth of other information to their council in order to get help therefore without the DPA this information can be misused and seen by people without their knowledge.

 

 

There was been a lot of talk about care.data where peoples identifiable medical information may be sold to insurers and pharma companies it has been put on hold because of the huge data protection issues surrounding it.

 

 

BUT only the medical information of NHS users will be collected the S/R people who do not use the NHS but can afford to go to a private GP and Hospital will NOT have their data entered on to the care.data database

 

 

Now do you see where I am coming from?

 

 

And believe you me the S/R people that I know inc members of my own family are very careful about the information they do give only they have less people demanding it

 

 

 

 

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[/b]

 

I think we should get a couple of things straight here

 

 

The difference between someone on benefits or on a low income and a successful rich person is that the rich person is on less databases (not just DWP ones) and therefore have less people having sensitive data about them, less chance of their personal information being used or seen by people without their consent or knowledge.

 

 

Lets take a couple of examples shall we?

 

 

council tax

 

 

A S/R person will pay by standing order or DD or even cash, his council have no information about him other than his name and address therefore there is no danger of his personal data being used without his knowledge - they don't have it.

 

 

People on benefits or low income have to apply for support, they have to give their DOB, copies of their bank statements, their income, people in their household and a wealth of other information to their council in order to get help therefore without the DPA this information can be misused and seen by people without their knowledge.

 

 

There was been a lot of talk about care.data where peoples identifiable medical information may be sold to insurers and pharma companies it has been put on hold because of the huge data protection issues surrounding it.

 

 

BUT only the medical information of NHS users will be collected the S/R people who do not use the NHS but can afford to go to a private GP and Hospital will NOT have their data entered on to the care.data database

 

 

Now do you see where I am coming from?

 

 

And believe you me the S/R people that I know inc members of my own family are very careful about the information they do give only they have less people demanding it

 

 

 

 

 

Why does it matter if S/R Govt have information about you? That's my point. It all sounds a bit paranoid to me. You are not important, you don't matter. Let them get as much information about you as they want, what does it matter?

Edited by Werewolf

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Why does it matter if S/R Govt have information about you? That's my point. It all sounds a bit paranoid to me. You are not important, you don't matter. Let them get as much information about you as they want, what does it matter?

 

Our successful, rich people are very rarely put in the position where they have to disclose the entire details of their lives.

 

But if you're asking why people should exercise the rights they're given at law, I don't know what to tell you. If a benefit claimant wants to exercise their rights, I'm sure as hell not going to tell them not to. Who cares what their reasons for doing so are? The whole point about rights is that they're rights. You don't have to explain yourself.


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If people cease to excercise what rights they currently do have, then it wont be long before those in power decide that they are not relevant and remove what rights we do have !


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Refusing to sign data waivers, redacting CV's only providing electronic copies etc, are all ways in which the claimant can retaliate albeit in a small way against the system.

Anything that makes life difficult for the providers is worth doing however petty.


 

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It's not just about providing data to DWP and government bodies; have you noticed now how many shops ask for your personal data when you make a purchase, where once they didn't? The usual reason is 'to create an account for you' or 'we need the info for the guarantee'.

 

All total rubbish. You buy something - I always pay cash only - and you get the goods and the receipt. That's the only guarantee you need. They want your info to pass on or sell to others for marketing purposes. It's that simple and it's big business. Ask your local Council, who put all their data on discs and sell it to companies. Other examples;

 

Buy a couple of plugs from Maplins and they want your details 'so we can send you some free vouchers'. You may indeed get free vouchers - probably for something you don't want - but you'll certainly start getting junk mail from them and God knows who else.

 

Buy anything from Richer Sounds (great shop by the way) and they want you to create an account, give them your details and log everything you buy. I don't want records of gear I've bought stored in some shop computer where any potential burglars can see them and know what I have in my house. Shop staff can be criminals just like anyone else.

 

I bought a guitar a while ago and the shop wanted my details 'for the guarantee'. I said 'the receipt is my guarantee, if you want anything else the deal is off'. They didn't push it.

 

I even bought some modelling items from a model shop (who never used to want details) but now ask for them as 'we need them for the receipt'. I told them the same thing.

 

People really do need to take care of their personal data. Disclose it when absolutely necessary but guard it when it isn't.

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'to create an account for you' or 'we need the info for the guarantee'.

 

Round these parts, a Mr Barry Stard has his name on numerous accounts and guarantees - The post code and/or contact number varies, but is often the last shop that asked for the same info.


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Round these parts, a Mr Barry Stard has his name on numerous accounts and guarantees - The post code and/or contact number varies, but is often the last shop that asked for the same info.

 

Ha ha, done that myself too, usually giving the name and address of a kid I used to know at school and didn't like. Might have backfired once though as Richer Sounds wanted my details to enter into a genuine 'Win a free plasma tv' contest. I often wonder if my old enemy ended up winning it.

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One of the core reasons is the work programme and JCP will give you more grief when you sign various forms or allow things which are not mandatory.

 

For example if you let JCP see your universal jobmatch account they will hassle you with various unsuitable jobs to apply for, then grill you about them on your next signing day hoping you didn't apply for one so they have a reason to sanction you.

 

If you sign the work programme forms you consent to your work programme provider sending your details to anyone for any unsuitable job. And should you find work yourself (i.e. without any of their help) you will have given your provider the right to hassle your new employer for details about your job so that your provider can get paid for doing nothing. They don't get paid unless they can prove you are in a job, why should they be paid if you found the job yourself?

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I used to work in a Job Centre (as was) in Lewisham, (south london), I got the T-shirt and the scars too ;) So you'll understand me when I say how amazing it will be in the coming weeks, after IDS new workfare sanctions kick in, when all those long term unemployed who are mandated to do 'voluntary' work, sign on every day or do community service like criminals suddenly all seek to transfer to ESA for 'Depression' or 'Anxiety' issues. lol.

 

My god - who WOULDN'T be anxious or depressed being on JSA for two years or more these days?

 

Werewolf x

 

Many of those people have no choice but to go on to ESA. They may already have depression; but the WP / voluntary work has just made it worse. I went on to ESA not long after being mandated to the WP. I was not willing to make myself ill (I have many long term medical conditions and stress makes them worse) because of some clueless adviser who also claimed that the disabilities I have aren't that bad. She wasn't the one living with them.

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Why does it matter if S/R Govt have information about you? That's my point. It all sounds a bit paranoid to me. You are not important, you don't matter. Let them get as much information about you as they want, what does it matter?

 

There was talk that the American company paid millions to gather data from everybody in the UK census had to by U.S law pass on said information to the U.S government.

The same U.S government who tap mobile phones and monitor all internet activity.

And no I dont wear a tin foil hat but I know for a fact that British intel and police monitor web sites, comments made. Thats all Im saying on the subject.

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I signed off last week because my Husband now has a pension so I cant get income based jsa , I had one meet and greet session with the work programme. I did not sign anything at all as I didn't have a one to one session with an advisor. I got a letter mandating me to go to a review meeting despite me not being on any benefits and therefore not actually being required to have anything to do with them.

 

 

I phoned up and cancelled out of courtesy and was asked why I signed off I told them it was none of their business and was told I was required by LAW to tell them (lying B******) since then they have phoned me 3 times demanding to know if I have got a job, if I had actually signed something and waived my rights under the DPA no doubt they would have been trying even more aggressive tactics to get the info.

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I've just finished the work programme at Ingeus two weeks ago. Absolute waste of my life. But I think everyone who's been on it agrees - even the JCP advisers I've had agree but say it's just a hoop we have to jump through if we want our money.

 

But my question is why do so many people who have nothing - no money, no stake in society, no job, etc, get so obsessed with data protection issues, like it's the CIA trying to gain information on them? Who cares? Why does it matter if you sign a form or not? Is it just a way to hold on to a sense that we are still important even though we are at the bottom of society's barrel? Surely there are bigger battles to win in the fight against getting sanctioned than just being adversarial all the time on data protection technicalities?

 

I'll sign any form they want if it means I can keep getting my meagre benefit each week, short of the form that authorizes them sending me to the gas chamber, (Which judging by new reforms doesn't seem that long off).

 

Serious question though - based on my fellow WP contestants, why do the disempowered always get such a bee in their caps about 'data protection' all the time? The successful/rich people I've met never cared less about signing Data protection forms. Any insight?

Conversely, I have always been concerned as to why the great unwashed of society, who cannot secure employment within the Wealth Creating Sector, Third Sector, Public Sector, and who end up at the bottom of the economic food chain working within the Welfare To Work Sector develop ideas above their station. However, given that Job Centre Plus provide comprehensive personal data on the candidate when they sentence the candidate to the Work Programme, it remains an anomalous irregularity as to why Welfare To Work Clerks obsess over candidates signing spurious and superfluous Data Protection Forms.

 

It cannot be helpful, or healthy, for a Welfare To Work Clerk to obsess in this way.

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