Our Government Monitors where We Go
In today’s copy of The Sunday Times, there is a story that shows, like the USA, our government is keeping a pretty close idea on where we travel.
They already know where we go to becuase our passports are electronically swiped as we fly, even on domestic flights.
Now the paper reveals that there is an office in Wythenshawe in Manchester that houses part of the UK Border Agency which, as part of a pilot, has information on 70 million travel journeys and expects this to reach 100 million by April. They will keep details for up to 10 years on where I have flown, the seat reservations, the credit card I used. my address and telephone numbers. Because when I fly to the US I have to add an e-mail address and where I am staying they will presumabely get that as well. And if I use a ferry, Eurostar or Eurotunnel then they will know as well. For all I know, the next thing it will be my bus and train ticket! And all of this is being collected in the name of security and to help protect me from terrorism in years to come. I have not given my permission under the Data Protection Acts for this to be held and I guess I have no rights because this will be outside the Act.
Why do I object?
On one ground really. The authorities have not given me any confidence that the information I give them will be held securely. Their track record on losing computers, laptops, memory sticks and data is lamentable. Why should this be any more secure than other big scale informatio projects they have been involved in?