The Government plans to rifle through the bank statements of Britain’s poor on a monthly basis. These plans for new welfare surveillance powers are being met with criticism by privacy rights campaigners.
Director of Big Brother Watch Silkie Carlo said:
“The government should not intrude on the privacy of anyone’s bank account in this country without very good reason, whether a person is receiving benefits or not.
People who are disabled, sick, carers or looking for work should not be treated like criminals by default.
Such proposals do away with the longstanding democratic principle in Britain that state surveillance should follow suspicion rather than vice versa and it would be dangerous for everyone if the government reverses this presumption of innocence.
Information processing in the welfare system is notoriously bad and the state rifling through millions of people’s bank statements is highly likely to result in serious mistakes.”