Data losses put UK at foot of privacy league

J. Mark Lytle

If you’re already concerned by the gradual erosion of our personal privacy in the 21st century, then the latest report from a pair of privacy watchdogs might make uncomfortable reading.

Privacy International from the UK and the Electronic Privacy Information Center in the US regularly assess how nations treat the rights of their citizens to live without government intervention. According to the 2007 report, both Britain and America are rock bottom “endemic surveillance societies.”

ID cards a risk

Not only does the UK have far more CCTV surveillance cameras than any other country, but it also has suffered a rash of electronic data leaks and placed its citizens even more at risk with plans for a national identity card.

Across the Atlantic, US residents continue to lose freedoms in the so-called ‘war on terror’ that has seen legalised spying introduced through warrantless phone taps and email snooping by the state.

Should you wish to continue an existence, whether online or off, that is free from fear of intrusion, then the report suggests Greece – the only country deemed to have adequate privacy-protection safeguards in place.