Yesterday, I was at a meeting in London organised by Privacy International, the Open Rights Group, the Foundation for Information Policy Research and Big Brother Watch. My Twitter bud Paul Bernal has written a clear summary of the day, you can read here.
I would add one point that for me should be the simple answer to this debate. The two police officers, one actually the former Chief Constable Sir Chris Fox, mentioned the question of the utility of collecting such a huge mass of data. I think this is the main point to oppose the project. The breach of the balance of proportionality. The government is trying to burry police officers under a mass of data they cannot process. Already, Councils have to call for volunteers in the public to watch CCTV footage as there is no enough officers to sit and watch them, with all the privacy issues that it involves.
Collecting the mass of data cause serious practical issues, privacy issues, security issues, all reason to not justify its collect and retention.
It is not proven that such collection is useful, is justified and even less, it is not justified that the same result, actually better results, could be achieved by other means.
We hope the government would have a second thought before taking any decision and we are trusting the Information Commissioner’s Office to express the privacy concerns.