Surveillance State

The Government is creating a system of "mass public surveillance" capable of tracking every adult in Britain without their consent, MPs say. They warn that people who have never committed a crime can be "electronically monitored" without their knowledge.

Biometric facial scans, which will be compulsory with ID cards, are to be put on a national database which can then be matched with images from CCTV. The database of faces will enable police and security services to track individuals regardless of whether they have broken the law. CCTV surveillance footage from streets, shops and even shopping centers could be cross-referenced with photographs of every adult in the UK once the ID cards Bill becomes law. Biometric facial scans, iris scans and fingerprints of all adults in the UK will be stored on a national database. Civil liberties groups say the plans are a "dangerous" threat to people's privacy. Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said the plans were being brought in by the Government without informing the public. "A new system capable of mass public surveillance is being created with no public debate. The arrival of CCTV cameras which can recognize you and track you without your knowledge means we are stepping into an unknown future," he said.