Monday, April 09, 2007

Bigger Brother

Britain is covered by a network of 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras - more per head than any other country in Europe or North America. Londoners can be caught on camera 300 times a day.

Four million samples, including one million from people never convicted of an offence, are on the DNA database, covering almost 7 per cent of the population. Tony Blair has said he sees no reason why every adult should not be included.

A central National Health Service database will soon hold millions of confidential medical records, enabling staff to access patients' information at the press of a button. People who object will not be able to opt out.

From 2009, anyone who renews a British passport will be forced to register for an identity card.
Fifty-two pieces of information, including fingerprints and iris scans, will be held on the register that will underpin the scheme.

Ministers are examining proposals to build a so-called "super-database" containing personal data such as benefit and pension records, which could easily be transferred between Whitehall departments.

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