Big Issue – New bank spying powers could risk repeating Horizon

Big Brother Watch Team / April 22, 2024

A new joint letter signed by a group of cross-party MPs and peers has called on the Government to drop plans for mass bank account monitoring on the premise of detecting welfare fraud & error.

The new powers, sought by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), would compel banks and other third parties to monitor all account holders to find and then flag people who meet certain secret criteria to the government directly. Flagged accounts could then be subject to further investigation.

“Searching for such signals without reasonable grounds for suspicion would reverse the well
established presumption of innocence,” the letter addressed to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride said.

If these powers come into force, the Government could risk repeating the Horizon scandal, politicians have warned.

Big Issue – DWP risks repeat of Post Office scandal with plan to snoop on claimants’ bank accounts, MPs warn

Mirror – DWP powers to snoop on bank accounts ‘risks creating Post Office-style scandal’