PRESS RELEASE: Privacy campaigners respond to Government digital currency plans
Commenting on the Treasury and Bank of England’s response to the public consultation on the introduction of a UK central bank digital currency, Susannah Copson, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch said:
“It’s puzzling that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to pilot a digital pound despite failing to explain to the public or parliament why one is needed. It’s a solution in search of a problem that could pose serious risks of privacy intrusion, security breaches and inequality in the UK.
“The Government’s new commitment to introduce laws that would prohibit the state programming digital pounds to control how they’re spent, and to protect financial privacy, shows that the 50,000 of us that responded to the consultation have had a real impact, although we await further detail to see how robust the legal and technological protections are. We still have serious privacy concerns about a digital pound becoming a spycoin since the Government also said today that a UK CBDC, unlike cash, will not be anonymous to enable surveillance and financial policing.
“In the context of the Government’s current legislation to decimate the data protection framework and introduce mass bank spying on the premise of dealing with welfare fraud, the public will rightly have very little trust in the Government’s respect for financial privacy. Privacy by promise is not enough.”
“The Treasury and the Bank of England will need to go further to explain why the UK needs a CBDC and how the public’s rights, equality and civil liberties would be protected”.
Spokespeople are available for interviews. Contact Big Brother Watch’s 24h media line on 07730439257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find a copy of the Treasury and Bank of England’s response to the public consultation on a UK CBDC here.
You can find more information on Big Brother Watch’s work on central bank digital currencies here.