- The private security company Esotech Ltd are the designated processor of data provided for the scheme, meaning that application data goes through them, and then on to the Home Office.Esotech also provide the security equipment subsidised by the scheme.
Given the quality of digital security today, the involvement of a private security company raises important questions regarding confidentiality – it is not clear where CCTV images are stored or may end up, or whether they may be used to refine facial recognition software, for examples.
Similarly, it is not clear where images and video produced by video intercom systems may be stored.
For any mosques applying to the scheme, the terms of usage and strict privacy agreements should all be guaranteed before work commences with such companies.
- Personal data (i.e. contact details, name and address of the place of worship) provided through applications will also be shared with other agencies and 3rd party organisations, including:
- Police Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCO)
- Independent Advisory Panel
- Charity Commission Community Coordinators
- Welsh Government (where applicable)
- M&C Saatchi
The Home Office have also stated that they ‘may share your information with other organisations in the course of carrying out our functions, or to enable others to perform theirs.’
- While this data will be shared for purposes related to the application, we have concerns about the use of this information by 3rd party organisations.M&C Saatchi, for example, are involved in processing applications for the scheme, but are also contracted regularly by the Home Office for advertising and outreach purposes.
They are embedded in PREVENT, as described in our report, “We are Completely Independent”, contracted as part of partnerships to commmunicate government counter-narratives surrounding ‘extremism’ and ‘terrorism’.
Therefore there is a possibility that data from the scheme may be used towards refining such messages.