One Million Empty Properties
With house building at its lowest level since the 1920s, thousands of families in temporary housing and an ever-rising population it makes no sense to have so many properties sitting vacant
And empty houses don’t only attract vandals, squatters, vermin and anti-social behaviour, they also cut the value of adjoining properties.
Be it Tory, Labour, Liberal or even the friendly Greens, dealing with empty properties are a hot potato no-one wants to hold onto for very long. It is attacked with a blunt scalpel whenever it suits an agenda but the result remains the same – too many properties remain empty. No one policy seems to make a dent in the numbers.
Put in a Freedom of Information request to your local council and you’ll get the same polite response:
Sorry, we cannot release any information because of data protection, please see the case of London Borough of Bexley v Colin England.
IS DATA PROTECTED?
But is data protected? Research shows that in the last few years, many organisations have sold data to numerous companies, raking in millions of pounds, without any regard for personal privacy.
In one astonishingly example, the DVLA earns £10 million a year by selling on information to private entities. It seems our data is protected, just so long as there’s no money to be made.
We now know companies like Facebook share our personal data around with other tech firms including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify and Yandex. And Google uses our searches to target ads especially for us. This idea that we have any ‘protection’ is laughable.
The scandalous Cambridge Analytica scandal, where Facebook used user’s data to try to influence the US election showed us no data is private and was another example of how far companies will go. The damage is already done. Our personal data is out there, and we have lost control of it.