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ICO urges surveillance rethink

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has warned against the growing use of surveillance technology in the UK.

Commenting on the results of a study carried out by the Surveillance Studies Network, UK information commissioner Christopher Graham said that new laws were required to make the widespread use of surveillance technology by the government and the private sector less intrusive.

Some might say he's a bit late to the party. The UK has more CCTV cameras tracking its subjects moves that any other country on the planet, per capita, that is. It is probable that Graham's every move on his way to work of a morning has been captured on CCTV.

“The report I've presented to parliament today clearly makes the case for government departments to build post-legislative scrutiny into their work as a key way of ensuring the successful delivery of the new transparency and privacy agenda,” Graham in a statement.

Some of the most widely-used and intrusive technologies highlighted in the report include CCTV cameras, the use of unmanned drones, full body scans and workplace surveillance measures.

"Technologies that used to be the subject of speculation have moved into mainstream use. The linking and sharing of data from different databases, development of facial recognition, the increased rollout of ANPR, private sector data gathering and analysis and increased information sharing are of particular concern," the report states.