Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
- Article 8 of the Human Rights Act
The right to privacy protects you against intrusion into your personal life – including unnecessary, heavy-handed state surveillance.
Your right to privacy can only be interfered with when it is “necessary to do so in a democratic society”. This might include reasons like protecting national security or public safety, preventing crime or protecting the rights of other people.
However, any interference with your right to privacy must be “proportionate” – no more than is absolutely necessary to achieve one of these aims.
The right to a private life is based on principles of human dignity and is linked to many other rights such as equal treatment and free expression.
A society that does not respect personal privacy is one where dignity, autonomy and trust are dangerously undermined.
Privacy issues in the UK today
Liberty campaigns on the key issues relating to the right to privacy in the UK today including:
- Police surveillance technology – The police are rolling out a range of sinister new technologies – and they’re doing it without proper trials, consultation or even law.
- The Snoopers' Charter and state surveillance – We are subject to highly intrusive state-sanctioned surveillance powers, which do not require proper sign off from a judge.
- Police databases – The Home Office is developing a new, invasive super database.
- Criminal Record Checks – Vast numbers of employers have direct access to individual criminal records, including unproven allegations.
- ID Cards – Liberty was at the forefront of the successful campaign resisting the introduction of ID cards linked to a ‘National Identity Register’ in 2006. But the idea of introducing ID cards following Brexit is being considered once more.
- CCTV – We are one of the most watched nations in the world, and “smart CCTV” threatens our privacy more than ever.