Between Jan 2017 and June 2018 Kent Police have extracted data from 4332 devices. The devices data has been extracted from are for example: memory chips, games consoles and vehicle infotainment systems, plus many more. Below we have set out the numbers and the exact types of device Kent Police have extracted data between Jan 2017 and June 2018.
No doubt some of you might say or think, so what, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. That argument is senseless in our opinion. For example, Poole Council used laws designed to track serious criminals to spy on a family for nearly three weeks to find out if they were lying about living in a school catchment area. Doreen Lawrence and her family were surveilled in attempts to smear them and undermine their fight for justice. Women being harassed need the safety of anonymity and privacy, to defend against abuse in their online spaces and aggression like swatting in their homes. Women stalked or tracked by abusive partners, which has become a problem so common that Women’s Aid has a clear and prominent guide to hiding your tracks online on its website.
Environmental campaigners have for many years been under direct surveillance, particularly women who were deceived into having relationships with police officers. MPs need privacy in particular for their constituency work, which involves meeting with people who share very personal stories and situations, and challenging the actions of the government. For example, recently MPs confidential calls with prison staff were recorded and monitored. Doctors, hospital workers and their patients expect to have confidentiality when discussing personal health. Disabled people are often scared of speaking out about mistreatment because they are can be put under direct surveillance by both government bodies, and neighbours, to try and ‘catch them out’ as ‘not really disabled’.
Perhaps you find yourself in this list, or know people who are.
Also consider it in relation to Otterpool Park, if Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear about releasing any data. The same goes for Princes Parade. But alas both Viability Assessments have been heavily redacted. So FHDC do have something to hide and possibly for good reason too.
Below are the types of device Kent Police have extracted data from between Jan 2017 and June 2018.
(Figures based on submissions through the Digital Forensics Department only)
The penultimate type of device Kent Police have extracted data from is Vehicle: Infotainment System.
The UK Metropolitan Polices’ “Digital Control Strategy” identifies infotainment systems in cars, which store this information, as a new forensic opportunity. It seems as though Kent Police also see it as a new forensic opportunity as well. Combine this information with a bit of open source intelligence, such as social media profiles, and you can track down individuals.
Back in Dec 2017 Privacy International ran an article on their website titled: Connected Cars: What Happens To Our Data On Rental Cars? When anyone in the UK rents a car, some people connect their phone to the car. Privacy International go onto say in their detailed report:
While both the rental companies and manufacturers put the onus on individuals to delete data held on infotainment systems, there is no agreement who is the data controller of the information which resides on these devices. This is concerning, particularly as infotainment systems become increasingly sophisticated and they attract the attention of law enforcement and potentially criminals.
Does the argument nothing to hide, nothing to fear stand up? We think not.
All those people we set out at the beginning are all people for whom surveillance turns into real, felt harms. The vulnerability created by an all-watching surveillance state affects everyone who needs their privacy. When they are listed out like this, you can see how so many people fall into one of these categories. Perhaps you find yourself in this list, or know people who are.
Even if a service is something that you are not using in your day to day life, whether that is a hospital, a library, or the local bus service, we understand that those things should still exist for those who rely on them. In the same way, if one person does not feel that they actively need the right to privacy, we should campaign and fight for all those for whom privacy, and the security it provides, is vital.
The Lords Constitutional Committee (2009) agreed that “Mass surveillance has the potential to erode privacy. As privacy is an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of individual freedom, its erosion weakens the constitutional foundations on which democracy and good governance have traditionally been based in this country.” And don’t forget Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence”, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. So as we said does the nothing to fear, nothing to hide argument stand up? We think not.
Privacy matters and anyone who is found innocent, a witness or a victim, should we believe have their extracted data destroyed, just like those on the DNA database were destroyed.
In a recent conversation with Gavin Millar QC of Matrix Chambers, he made it very clear that any data extracted from a phone regardless if it was a child or an adult, found not guilty must have the data extracted by the Police destroyed. But it is not just phone data, we personally believe all data which has been extracted and any person found innocent should have their data destroyed regardless of what device it came from.
The Shepwayvox Team Dissent is NOT a Crime.