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Sam Smith's picture

Privacy International welcomes the news that the UK NHS Data Spine is being replaced. We have fundamental privacy concerns about the existing infrastructure, and the proposed changes have the potential to enable the necessary privacy protections to be implemented in a meaningful way. 

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Carolin Moeller's picture

 

“This judgment exposes the widespread and sinister nature of police surveillance of ordinary members of the public in this country. It also acts as a safeguard against the creeping criminalisation of peaceful protest. The Association of Police Officers and Metropolitan Police Commissioner have sanctioned this unlawful conduct for almost a decade and must be made accountable”. 1

Last week three of the country’s most senior judges in the Court of Appeal found that the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner violated John Catt's human rights.

The case concerns the 88-year old activist John Catt, a frequent participant in protests and public demonstrations, including most recently that organized by a group called “Smash EDO” which campaigns against the weapon manufacturer EDO Defence Systems. 

Blog
Carly Nyst's picture

The long-awaited release by Microsoft today of data about the number of law enforcement requests received and complied with by the company represents an important step forward in the ongoing challenge of understanding the scale of government access to communications information.

The data, the first set released by Microsoft, reveals that it received 70,665 requests for communications content and data in 2012, pertaining to 122,015 users or accounts. Communciations data was disclosed in 56,388 cases - 79.8% of the time. This is slightly higher than the rate at which Google produced communications data in 2012 - around 67% of the time. Unlike Google, Microsoft also published the amount of incidences in which they provided communications content in response to government requests - in 1,558 instances, or 2.2% of the overall requests.

Blog
Carolin Moeller's picture

In November 2012 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in M.M v. the United Kingdom that retention and disclosure of a job applicant’s police records to potential employers was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court ruled that the practice cannot be regarded as being in accordance with the law. This judgment is a key step in establishing privacy rights over data held by the police, and comes at an important time when governments are rewriting the rules around data retention and disclosure practices in the criminal sphere. 

The case concerns M.M (the applicant) who abducted her grandson for three days in 2000 in order to prevent the girlfriend of her son from going back to Australia with the applicant’s grandson. The UK Director of Public Prosecutions considered the case as a family issue and a minor offence. He therefore administered a caution, instead of pursuing court proceedings. 

Blog
Eric King's picture

report released today by Citizen Lab has uncovered further evidence that British company Gamma International has sold their surveillance technology FinFisher to repressive regimes abroad, despite having no export licence to do so. The report builds on investigations conducted last year  that demonstrated that Gamma International has been exporting FinFisher without a license to repressive regimes with dismal human rights records

Blog
Carly Nyst's picture

Privacy International this week submitted stakeholder reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council1 about the human rights records of China, Senegal and Mexico. The reports, prepared in preparation with our partners in the respective countries, analyse the extent to which the right to privacy is respected and protected, and detail instances of privacy violations.

Blog
Charles Farrier's picture

 

It's not often that you get to witness the birth of a new philosophy. However, according to the UK Home Office, a new philosophy is at the heart of their new Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, published this month, and currently subject to a badly publicized consultation process. The name of this new philosophy? Surveillance by Consent.

An extended version of this piece is available on the No CCTV website.

Of course, the term is not really new, nor is it a philosophy. Rather, it is more like a piece of propaganda, a means of assuaging fears about increased surveillance. Surveillance, we are told, is by consent. We need not worry how consent is achieved or what it really means. We can rest easy knowing that the word "surveillance", which was previously considered controversial, now has a positive sounding partner: consent.

Blog
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan's picture

In order to lawfully conduct communications surveillance (“lawful interception”) in the U.S. and Western Europe, a law enforcement agency must seek authorisation from a court and produce an order to a network operator or internet service provider, which is then obliged to intercept and then to deliver the requested information. In contrast, Russian Federal Security Service operatives (FSB) can conduct surveillance directly by utilising lawful interception equipment called SORM.

SORM

Blog
Nigel Waters's picture

 

Nigel Waters attended the APEC DPS meeting in Jakarta as an invited guest. He has previously either formally represented Privacy International or been a part of the Australian delegation. He continues to bring a critical civil society perspective to bear on the APEC privacy work.

The APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system has moved one step closer to full operation with the acceptance in January 2013 of Mexico as the second participating economy. The United States was accepted in July 2012, and Japan has declared its intention to apply in 2013, with other economies to follow.

Blog
Anna Fielder's picture

Just over a year ago, vitally important reforms to European privacy and data protection laws were proposed. Now these reforms, which will affect the rights of half a billion Europeans, are being watered down in their passage through various European parliamentary committees as MEPs succumb to an unprecedented industry lobbying onslaught. There is now irrefutable evidence of the impact of this lobbying, thanks to a technology-powered research method comparing corporate lobby documents with the amendments to the draft legislation tabled by individual MEPs.

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