British Privacy Versus Security

A while ago the NY Times posted an article about privacy concerns of British citizens. The government has cameras posted on nearly every street corner, recording the actions of its citizens 24-7, and occasionally taking action with video proof of wrong doing.

The article tells the story of a mother who was suspected of falsifying her address in order to get her children into a specific local school. It turns out that she did nothing wrong, and her address was correct.  However, she was under secret surveillance by an officer from the Poole education to verify if she was telling the truth.

Now she is taking the Poole Education district to court in a case of state powers overstepping their authority and purpose and wrongfully treading on the personal privacy of an individual. While it is technically legal for the British government to perform this surveillance, she is asking courts about the ethical boundaries or this oversight.

POOLE, England — It has become commonplace to call Britain a “surveillance society,” a place where security cameras lurk at every corner, giant databases keep track of intimate personal details and the government has extraordinary powers to intrude into citizens’ lives.

Read more…


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on October 26, 2009, in Privacy, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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