Reaction to the Queen’s Speech

Further to the Queen’s Speech Renate Samson Chief Executive of Big Brother Watch said:

“Today’s Queen’s Speech has the potential to enhance our privacy, security and data rights with one hand, but equally runs the risk of diminishing them with the other.

“Protecting our personal data is of increasing concern. But the Government’s recent track record on this front, with the digital economy and data sharing for citizens, has been far from satisfactory.

“Whilst we welcome the intention to give citizens control of their own personal data and to adopt new data protection laws, the proof will be in the pudding.  We hope these proposals will ensure citizens are no longer kept at arms-length from their personal information by ministers, officials or businesses alike.

“The plans to make the UK the safest place to be, both on and offline in terms of a  Digital Charter and the protection of national infrastructure, are also vitally important.  We reiterate our concerns that for these proposals to work, an open, honest and informed conversation about the importance of encryption in keeping us all safe must be undertaken. The Government must not continue to treat encryption as a zero sum game.

“Life in a connected digital society is complex and keeping people safe from ever-developing threats is far from straightforward. Tools such as data protection and encryption bring challenges for the Government, but are hugely beneficial for the security of the country and all its citizens, not just the few.”