Telegraph, 8 April 2015: 'Big Brother to be curbed'
“There are limits to the techniques the government may use to control citizens. Seventy per cent of participants in the Thesis of the Day think so. You believe that monitoring should be surrounded by safeguards.
A large majority therefore thinks it is a good thing that privacy watchdog Privacy First has filed a lawsuit against section controls because the cameras not only record speeding drivers but also all other motorists who drive by and keep neatly to the speed limit. According to Privacy First, which wants to hold a national debate on monitoring techniques, this is unlawful. "The good should not suffer under the bad," said one reader. You think section control should be banned like in Germany.
You also find other technical systems unacceptable, such as storing citizens' phone and internet data and entering the license plate in parking meters, which the courts have already blocked. Opinions differ on camera registration of license plates and storing passenger data. Half are in favour, the other half are against.
However, cameras on the streets, in shopping malls, tunnels and the like are no objection. "It is good for our safety," writes someone. However, another notes that the cameras are not meant to record "what kind of bread I buy at the bakery".
Seventy per cent of readers think storing personal data and camera images is acceptable only if there are clear safeguards, such as that it will not be misused and that it will only be kept for a short time. "Only allow if there are clear guarantees that the data is only available for that one purpose and only for the right service," writes one reader.
You do not agree that such control practices are a necessary evil and should therefore be accepted without question. However, a sizeable minority of almost 40 per cent think so: "With all the terror, it is desperately needed, this monitoring." Another writes: "If even one case is solved because a person is accidentally on a camera somewhere, I am fine with it."
Minister Van der Steur (Security) argues that crime detection will be made more difficult if companies can no longer be required to store citizens' telephony and internet data. Over 60 per cent of you, however, are not impressed by this line of argument: "Under the guise of security, an increasingly totalitarian state is being introduced," said one reader, referring to the book '1984' about a futuristic dictatorship in which 'Big Brother' watches every citizen through a screen.
Over 70 per cent of you think the government stores personal data too much and too often. "I think it goes too far, my privacy is so violated in many areas," writes one person. More than half think that fighting crime and terror can also be done without it: "It has never been proven that storing all this data has helped against terror.""
Source: Telegraph 8 April 2015, p. 18. Also published at http://www.telegraaf.nl/watuzegt/23898277/__Burger_ongebreideld_controleren__.html.