UK mass surveillance databases unlawful

The investigatory Powers Tribunal, a British court which oversees the nation’s intelligence and clandestine services ruled that the access to the datasets had not been subject to sufficient supervision between 1998 and November 2015, including the bulk collection of private data from unwitting citizens and residents, violating the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects the right to privacy. According to the media, government officials argue that mass collection of data is not a violation of privacy, and privacy is not breached until individual communications are looked at or analyzed by humans. The Tribunal’s ruling disagreed with that notion, stating the privacy protections contained in the European Convention on Human Rights are “engaged by the transfer and storage of communications data even if it is not accessed.”