Home > Government & Legislation > Government Security and Privacy Issues

Government Security and Privacy Issues

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 14 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Privacy Rights Civil Human Government

The right to privacy is a fundamental human right that should be respected not just by other individuals but also by governments. However, the increase in security measures implemented by the government does seem to be eroding the privacy of British citizens.

The Government and Privacy

Britain has one of the worst records of any western democracy when it comes to protecting the privacy rights of its citizens. According to a report by human rights group Privacy International, Britain is in the bottom five western countries when it comes to widespread surveillance. The common perception of the British government is that they have a record of keeping state secrets while demanding to know more information about British citizens.

Controversial New Security Measures

The laws regarding privacy and data protection in Britain seem to be ever changing. Although the government does recognise the individual’s right to privacy there seems to be more security measures that take away privacy rights. The new British identity cards are due to be rolled out in 2009 to British citizens. These cards will hold biometric information such as fingerprints and this information will be held on a National Identity Register.

Fees and Fines

The new identity cards are expected to cost around £30 each to be paid for by British citizens. Fines of up to £1000 can be applied if the details on the cards are wrong. This can include a fine if a woman fails to notify the government of a name change after marriage. Giving false information when registering will be regarded as a criminal act. Many rights activists have stated that this card gives the government more rights when it comes to gaining information and keeping track of British citizens.

The Surveillance Society

The increase of Close Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) is considered by many to be an infringement of the right to privacy. There are around 4.2 million CCTV cameras operating in Britain; this equates to one for every fourteen people. British citizens are spotted on CCTVs up to 300 times a day as they walk around cities. The amount of CCTVs is set to increase due to the perceived increase in terrorist activities.

Government Email Database

Another controversial government security proposal is the new email database. The government does want to hold a database of every email, telephone call and text made by British citizens. These records will be held in a central government database and will be accessible by the authorities. The government states these measures are needed to fight terrorism. If this plan does go ahead it will mean another step towards the erosion of the British people’s privacy while the government increases its citizen information.

The Internet and Surveillance

Government tracking of citizens over the Internet is playing a huge part in the erosion of British citizen’s right to privacy. Since the introduction of “terror legislation” the British government has increased its surveillance procedures and intends to increase them further. According to human rights activists the British government systematically attacks the rights of British citizens with every new security measure it imposes.

Protecting your Rights

The erosion of privacy rights by the British government is a serious matter. Human and civil rights campaigners have already mounted campaigns against the introduction of the new ID cards. Joining activist organisations such as Amnesty International and Liberty can help to stop the erosion of human and civil rights. These organisations have made real headway in campaigning for citizen’s rights and changing government policies and laws.

If rights to privacy are continually eroded without protest then the government and authorities such as the police will have much more power in the future. Many of the rights to privacy that we take for granted at the moment will no longer exist if these new security measures are brought in. It is the responsibility of every British citizen to fight for their rights to freedom and privacy if they are under threat from the government.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Mal
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    Can police take my rights away as a parent of 13 year old and call other people in why I’m sitting in the police station
    12 March 2020
  • Lil Runs
    Re: Rights If Detained by the Police
    My son was taken. The police took my son and I haven't heard from him in four days, my concerns are starting to grow and my…
    11 March 2020
  • Peach-pie
    Re: The Fight Against Racism
    Awesomely educational for me and my family. I’m a civil right baby if 1964! This is my heritage! I honor and appreciate my forefathers…
    1 February 2020
  • Dean From Woody :P
    Re: Key Figures in the Civil Rights Movement
    Ayo listen, Im working on this thing for Ms.Wall, and this article really helped. thanks for supporting a homie.
    9 January 2020
  • Buttons
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    My 13 year was put on probation for fighting do I have to give my daughters social security number to probation officer
    1 January 2020
  • jacqueline ryley
    Re: Protecting Your Privacy
    Hi I came to live in my home in 2003 and to the left of my home the land was slightly incline because the ground is sloped. But in 2014 a…
    2 December 2019
  • Sticky
    Re: Protecting Your Privacy
    My neighbours have a flat roof out the back which looks over to our back garden it is not safe to walk on but her children and herself…
    24 October 2019
  • Shelly
    Re: Anti Social Behaviour Orders, ASBOs: Your Rights
    I have got the council and a pcso comin to visit regarding my grandson who is 14 for anti social…
    14 October 2019
  • Shelly
    Re: Anti Social Behaviour Orders, ASBOs: Your Rights
    Hi I've got the local council and pcso comin to visit regarding my grandson who is 14 for anti social…
    14 October 2019
  • Elaine08
    Re: Stop, Search and Arrest Rights
    My son had his birthday money taken off him, apparently he is a drug dealer!! They took it off him and told him to prove where…
    13 October 2019