A shocking story in the Independent today which reports that Ministers from the Home Office could find themselves hauled in front of the European Court of Justice after the European Commission accused Britain of failing to protect its citizens from secret surveillance on the internet.
the legal action is being brought over the use of controversial behavioural advertising services which were tested on BT's internet customers without their consent to gather commercial information about their web-shopping habits.
Under the programme, the UK-listed company Phorm has developed technology that allows internet service providers (ISPs) to track what their users are doing online.
The Commission said the UK had failed to comply with both the European e-Privacy Directive and the Data Protection Directive. The Commission also criticised the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) as it does not require that people give informed, specific consent to their communications being intercepted for purposes such as behavioural advertising
I never really thought I'd say it, but congratulations to the EU. As I have written before, there is much wrong with Brussels' approach to individual privacy; but on this matter they are entirely correct.
At Big Brother Watch we are very concerned by Government attempts to regulate the internet or track users' habits. This story confirms that we should be concerned and we will continue to watch this case with interest.
By Dylan Sharpe