The Metropolitan Police has stirred controversy by acquiring software that is used to track individual movements in the digital world.
The GeoTime, which is also used by the US military, will allow the Met to aggregate data from social networking platforms, GPS, financial transactions and mobiles phones to track criminals and wrong doers.
However, privacy champions and certain legal outfits believe that it might result in a blatant abuse of an individual’s privacy. They believe that apart from tracking criminals, the software could be put to use for more nefarious purposes.
Privacy groups argue that the government could use the software to spy on innocent people like protesters.
A spokesperson for the Met told The Guardian that the department had indeed purchased the software but failed to give a price. He also said that the department was currently evaluating the ways in which the software could be put to use.
“A decision has yet to be made as to whether we will adopt the technology [permanently]. We have used dummy data to look at how the software works and have explored how we could use it to examine police vehicle movements, crime patterns and telephone investigations,” the spokesperson said in an email.