Archive for the ‘Big Brother Britain’ Category

Read more Liberty News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

my car my data logo Thousands of Europe’s drivers will be spied upon by their cars from 2018 when every vehicle sold could alert advertisers, insurers, councils, tax authorities, traffic wardens and police to their habits and locations, a European motoring organisation is warning.

The Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), a Brussels-based consumer body representing 111 motoring and touring clubs and 38 million drivers, has launched a campaign urging greater safeguards for the use of information on drivers gathered by tracking devices that will soon become compulsory in all new cars. FIA spokeswoman Andrea Campbell said its:

My car, my data campaign reflected the fact that information gleaned from cars is not protected by European data legislation.

From 2018, every new car will have a wireless box for road safety, and there is talk of retro-fitting telematics boxes into older cars. It’s only a small step to offering infotainment, traffic information and rest stop promotions.

Manufacturers can track you, and lock you in to their terms and conditions. So we are pushing for dedicated privacy legislation for consumer data protection, greater consumer awareness, and a fair after-market for services.

Britain’s AA motoring organisation is to join the campaign. Its president, Edmund King, said:

Connected cars offer drivers a vast array of new and exciting services and they can also help with breakdowns and crashes. But drivers may be unaware of just what information is collected, how it is used, who owns it and how is it protected. We support the FIA’s campaign aimed at ensuring greater transparency.

Data-connected cars gather information on driving styles, including the duration of journeys, speeds, acceleration and sudden braking, as well as details of where cars park, refuel or charge their batteries, and latest destinations entered into on-board navigation systems.  Smart systems can identify driving violations and mobile phone use, record the number of passengers and relay information about engine trouble to emergency services. Such data can be sold to third parties.

Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron Details of the financial history, qualifications and property wealth of millions of Britons could be shared across Whitehall for the first time without their consent, the Telegraph has disclosed.Information including voters’ driving licences, criminal records, energy use and even whether they use a bus pass could be shared under a radical blueprint to link up thousands of state databases used by schools, councils, police and civil servants.

The proposals are likely to ignite privacy concerns when officials are granted unprecedented access to citizens’ private data.

Ministers claim the ability to aggregate and mine citizens’ data under a new legal framework will allow them to better monitor economic growth and population movements, identify troubled families and elderly people in need of support, and cut fraud. They want to use sophisticated customer analysis techniques developed by retailers such as Amazon and Tesco.

The proposals are contained in a discussion document produced by the Cabinet Office Data Sharing Policy Team in April. The proposals, drawn up by Francis Maude, will be contained in a White Paper published in the Autumn. It may feature draft legislation for introduction after the 2015 election, according to sources.

Under the most wide-ranging option being considered, private data could be shared by all bodies providing public services – permitting private companies to receive unprecedented amounts of citizens’ data.

Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from telegraph.co.uk

Big BrotherThere is a growing backlash against the proposals to let the security services monitor every email, phone call and website visit by politicians from both coalition parties.

Chief among the Conservative rebels was Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who suggested the proposals were hypocritical given the Prime Minister’s previous stance against the control state.

In a 2009 speech Cameron said: Faced with any problem, any crisis, given any excuse, Labour grasp for more information, pulling more and more people into the clutches of state data capture.

Rees-Mogg said: The Government ought to remember why it favoured liberty in opposition. The powers it creates may in future be used by less benevolent administrations.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said the plan was an unnecessary extension of the ability of the State to snoop on people. What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals. It’s absolutely everybody’s emails, phone calls, web access.

Senior Liberal Democrats are also planning to rebel. They want the Government to clarify whether the legislation will allow GCHQ to access information on demand and without a warrant. The party passed a motion at its spring conference banning communication interception without named, specific and time-limited warrants.

Tim Farron, the President of the Liberal Democrats, wrote on Twitter: We didn’t scrap ID cards to back creeping surveillance by other means. State mustn’t be able to trace citizens at will.

Big Brother Clegg tries the angle that there is no central database

See article from telegraph.co.uk

While there will be no database, providers will be required to record all activities of their customers so they can be accessed if needed.

Nick Clegg said he was against the idea of a central database and the government reading people’s e-mails at will. He claimed: I’m totally opposed as a Liberal Democrat and as someone who believes in people’s privacy and civil liberties.

But in fact if the proposal is a rehash of what the police etc wanted under Labour, then they wanted the ISP’s to provide access to their local databases so that the police could actually use it like a central database (albeit a little bit slower on database searches).

Clegg also claimed that the government will not ram legislation through Parliament. He said the proposals would be published in draft first to allow them to be debated.

Meanwhile Theresa May has been suggesting that the capability is primarily for tracking down terrorists and paedophiles. But of course that has always been the stated case, and it has never stopped the capability to be used for trivial snooping eg to help councils investigate all sorts of low level nonsense.

LibDems have been fed some blather trying to get them on the government track

See article from privacyinternational.org

An internal Liberal Democrat briefing on Home Office plans to massively expand government surveillance was today passed to Privacy International. The document contains significant evasions and distortions about the proposed Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), and is clearly intended to persuade unconvinced Lib Dem MPs to vote in favour of the proposal.

…Read the full article

Comment: Obsessive control-freakery

See also Letter to MP by Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum

The very reason I loathe Labour with a passion is because of the obsessive control-freakery they displayed during their years in power. With their being voted out, it seemed we were rid of these big brother tendencies. Now it appears some in government have been infected by much the same virus.

Kindly tell the Home Secretary where to stick her proposals for yet greater surveillance of communications.

…Read the full Letter to MP

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See article from oxfordmail.co.uk

Oxford City CouncilA disgraceful scheme to put CCTV with microphones into all of Oxford’s taxis has been put on hold over privacy fears. Oxford City Council has put it on hold while the Information Commissioner’s Office investigates if recording people’s conversations is a breach of privacy.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has also told the council she is unhappy with the scheme. She has also written to the Information Commissioner’s Office seeking an update on that investigation. Blackwood said:

It does seem the city council has crossed the line.

It is an invasion of privacy and undermining of civil liberties that neither passengers nor taxi drivers themselves have welcomed.

The ICO stated to me that recording conversations between passengers is highly intrusive and unlikely to be justified.

CCTV plays an important role in combating crime but that has to be balanced with privacy concerns and used within common sense limits.