If you are in the UK then there is a fair chance Big Brother is watching you. That is the verdict from the civil liberties group Privacy International, which now ranks Britain alongside Russia and China in terms of people surveillance. The UK’s independent information commissioner, Richard Thomas, says we are now living in a “surveillance society”. “As our privacy becomes more and more invaded, as the information is linked together, do we really want everyone knowing exactly what we’re doing? We’ll lose our right to anonymity, we’ll lose our personal integrity,” he said.
People in Britain are filmed about 300 times a day. They are also tracked via mobile phone and bank card use. Shami Chakrabarti from the civil rights group Liberty UK says there is cause for concern. “People who hold information about us pass it around too easily,” she said. “No one is saying you cannot hold data but it should be held for specific purposes and it should be secure and we should have more control in our lives about our data, who’s holding it and for what purpose.”
Rights groups say governments around the world have used the war on terrorism to justify increased snooping into the lives of citizens. And developments in satellite tracking technology are likely to make it even easier for authorities to collate data on us in the future.