Feeds

UK shamed in world privacy league

We beat China though! Go team!

The essential guide to IT transformation

Former world power and current CCTV capital of the universe the UK has been fingered as the worst place in Europe if you fancy a little bit of privacy.

The legions of shopping centre cyclopses, together with teeth-gnashing government incompetence on data, and the funny-if-it-weren't-so-scary ID card wheeze mean that Blighty is only narrowly beaten by China in a league of shame of surveillance societies.

The list has been released today by London-based pressure group Privacy International (which got into some entertaining handbags earlier in 2007 with Google's PR droids). It produced a privacy index based on a series of categories on either side of the privacy equation: we scored a middling three out of five on democratic safeguards, but a bottom-of-the-barrel one out of five on ID cards and biometrics, for example.

The US administration didn't fare much better than the UK. It too made it into the highly un-coveted "endemic surveillance societies" club, along with the fun-loving governments of China, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Greece tops the European list of privacy-friendly nations, deposing last year's swot Germany. Moves in 2007 by Bundestag legislators to ban anonymous email may have helped it score a "decaying" ranking.

Outside Europe, Canada takes the win with a privacy index which indicates "some safeguards but weakened protections". No country recieved the top honours of "consistently upholds human rights standards". We assume they'd have to create a new category for Google, Facebook et al.

The summary of Privacy International's analysis says: "The 2007 rankings show an increasing trend amongst governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion."

You can read the full results here. Tor and tin foil hat optional. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?