Home Secretary Theresa May has defended the collection of vast amounts of phone and internet data, saying that there was an “unwritten agreement” that harvesting of personal data was needed to “keep us safe”.
May told a Parliamentary committee citizens did not give their explicit consent to have their data harvested by the security services and argued that collecting and storing phone and internet records was not the same as “mass surveillance” because “most of the data will not be looked at at all, will not be touched”.
“The ability to interrogate that bulk data – to look for that needle in the haystack – is an important part of the processes that people go through in order to keep us safe,” she told the intelligence and security committee. “I don’t the very collection of bulk data itself is an invasion of privacy,” she said, adding that she believed privacy considerations only should only kick in “at the point at which the communication is opened”.
VIEW FULL STORY