A report published by the Daily Mail this morning has highlighted the fact the Metropolitan Police have ordered a software package called 'Geotime' - "a security programme used by the U.S. military which tracks suspects' movements and communications and displays them on a three-dimensional graphic".
The software, which will be trialled in London before any decisions are made about its use across the UK, brings together information from social networking websites such as Facebook, financial transactions and mobile 'phone records in order to present an in-depth picture of an individual's movements.
While the BBW team are not luddites and are indeed keen to see the Police adopt new technology in order to fight crime, their decision to adopt technology designed for theatres of war in order to track members of the public is deeply concerning. Quite simply, the ability to build up such a comprehensive record of any person's movements represents a significant threat to personal privacy.
It is crucial, if this technology is to be rolled out further than London, that Police forces reassure the public that this technology will be used in only the most serious of cases, not as a tool to help solve low-level crimes.