http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/public ... ance-stateBattling the surveillance state
3 July 2012
The High Court has ruled that the policy on the retention of personal data is unlawful, and warned of its negative impact. So why, instead of issuing new guidance that would have cracked down on police overstepping the mark, has the government chosen to champion new legislation that will similarly trample the rights of innocent people? Anna Mazzola and Najma Rasul reportMay was a bad month for innocent people. The Metropolitan Police quietly introduced a policy of retaining data from detainees’ phones, even if those people are released without charge. A few weeks later, the courts said that the police could retain the records of an 87-year-old protester, even though he had committed no crime. And there are still no clues as to when the government will enact the laws that require the police to delete the biometric information of one million innocent people. All of this comes at a time when the Home Office is proposing that private companies should stockpile ‘communications data’ for the entire population instead of those suspected
In mid-May, it was reported that the Met and many other police forces have introduced new software to download information from the handsets of those taken into custody. The data – which includes call histories, contacts and texts, plus website histories and email content from smart phones – can then be stored indefinitely, even if the owner is not charged with any crime.