Britain becoming a Big Brother society, says data watchdog

The Independent

Britain is in danger of “committing slow social suicide” as such Big Brother techniques as surveillance cameras and recording equipment spread into every aspect of our lives, the nation’s information watchdog will warn this week.

A new report from Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, will say that the public needs to be made more aware of the “creeping encroachment” on civil liberties created by email monitoring, CCTV and computer tracking of our buying habits.

It is understood that one of the concerns in Mr Thomas’s report is the use of special listening devices which can be placed in lamp posts, street furniture and offices. These are already widely used in the Netherlands to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.(…)

On Tuesday, Mr Thomas, who last year warned that Britain was “sleepwalking into a surveillance society”, will tell the committee at its first hearing that new safeguards must be introduced to protect the public from the increasing intrusion of surveillance into their daily lives.

Civil liberty campaigners have already warned that Britain is becoming a Big Brother society where its citizens are increasingly being watched. There are more than four million CCTV cameras in this country, one for every 14 people, and the national DNA database which was set up by police to combat crime now holds 3.5 million profiles.

(via A Arte da Fuga)

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