Tuesday, October 18, 2016

UK Privacy does not exist

Why Privacy is important

We live in a supposedly democratic state under the rule of law.

That law is quite clear. You are innocent until proven guilty.

If you have allegedly committed a crime then it is up to the powers of law enforcement to find the evidence to support their allegations.

In normal life you do not expect to be followed and surveyed 24/7 just in case you may commit a crime. You have an inalienable right to privacy. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The problem with online surveillance (and this includes 'legal' sites such as Google, Facebook etc) is that you can't see it, so people do not consider it important. But it is as much an invasion of your privacy as having a policeman following you all day everyday, just in case you commit a crime.

Think about it like this.

Your daughter decides to go shopping. As she leaves the house, the policeman who has been assigned to her 24/7 follows along behind noting her every move. She meets her friends. Who are also followed by their officers.

Because she has her location services on her every movement is being tracked. She uses her messaging service to chat to friends. The messaging service takes all her contact details. Which would be fine if the people who had given her their details were happy for a third party to take them without their consent.

They stop at a map of the shopping centre where a guide (think Google 'cookie') kindly shows them where various shops are, and points out all what the guide thinks are the best deals (for which they get commission). As they head off to the shops, the guide follows them noting their every move, and helpfully adding suggestions as they go.

They pop into a store. The store assigns them a watcher (think 'cookie') who follows and notes their every move. When they leave the shop the follower is in tow, all the while noting their every move. As she has wifi on her phone and , even without logging on, her movements are tracked and her details are passed to other shops who rush to add their followers, even though she has never been in their shops. If she logs on to the wifi then the wifi station will then watch every piece of data flowing through which is also passed to numerous third parties.

They go to another shop, browse and buy something. The bank assigns a follower, who happily advises them of all the great banking deals they can avail themselves of and, as they can then track them to individual shops, can offer specific deals. The shop also assigns them another follower. The goods have a RFD tag, which can register in other shops as they browse, even if they have no intention of buying.

After some more browsing, and a bite to eat they arrive home. With a policeman, a spy, and numerous followers, all with their clipboards and wanting to bed down for the night so they can continue to watch her every move. They know where she lives, and where you live, and in the morning they are going to be following you too.

If you opened the door to see that, what would your reaction be ? Your daughter has done nothing wrong, and broken no laws. The issue is you cannot physically see it happening. That does not for one moment make it right.

Living your life like that in a permanently watched police state is what happened in the Eastern Bloc during the cold war. It still happens in numerous countries throughout the world. North Korea, China etc. You think the UK is any different ? It is not.

The UK population is one of the most watched populations on earth, from CCTV through to bulk internet surveillance. No, it may not be a physical presence, but it is a presence nonetheless. Just because you cannot see it does not mean that it is not there. You breathe, but cannot see the air. Surveillance is the same.

If you want to live in a nation where you are presumed guilty from the start then just carry on.

Personally I don't.

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