In March 2019, around 10,000 young people and children attended the School Strike for Climate in London. Previously unseen documents revealed that Metropolitan police used video surveillance at the strike, spying on tens of thousands of children, some of whom were as young as 10.
Big Brother Watch had confronted the officers filming young protesters at the climate strike and brought this issue to the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate for a potential breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The campaign group stated that gathering data on this scale is unlawful and that the Met police failed to consider the privacy rights of young people. Director, Silkie Carlo said, “our complaint and the information commissioner’s subsequent action sets an important precedent protecting children from unjustified political surveillance.
We urge Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to fulfil his legal duties to protect the public’s right to protest and ensure vital police resources are never again wasted by spying on children with opinions.”