As per the recent Investigatory Powers Act otherwise known as the “Snooper's Charter”, UK intelligence agencies were given the green light to access personal data from browsing histories.
Not only does the Act strengthen measures that had previously existed, but companies must now hand over customer data to UK intelligence agencies.
New research conducted by Rahman Ravelli, serious and corporate crime defence specialists, revealed that more than three quarters of people in the UK are unaware that the Act has been passed.
Eighty-one percent of UK millennials were found to be unaware of the Act and its implications on their human rights.
Elsewhere, a Go Compare survey found that 86 percent of 18-24 year olds are guilty of sharing personal data on social media. Meanwhile, half of them use the same password across multiple accounts.
Last year, Cifas saw a 34 percent rise in under-21s falling victim to fraud crime as a result of poor security measures.
Research from LexisNexis last November discovered that more than half of UK millennials were concerned about having their identity stolen online.
Given its seriousness and the overwhelming lack of awareness, the UK public, particularly millennials, need to be more informed about their “digital footprint”. Aziz Rahman, senior partner at Rahman Ravelli commented: “The authorities now have near-unlimited sanction to access your browsing history, online habits and more – all without any evidence of wrongdoing. You would think that such a breach of privacy would be a point of concern for people, but instead the act was passed with minimal complaint. It shows a real lack of awareness that needs to be addressed.
“Young people are at danger from either side now – they are vulnerable to hackers as well as the UK intelligence agencies. Because they have grown up with the internet, they have possibly become complacent.”
An extensive guide on the Investigatory Powers Act explains what it means for human rights and breaks down the different kinds of surveillance methods used in the UK.