Simon Davies

Founder of Privacy International and is a Fellow of the University of Amsterdam. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential privacy experts in the world. He blogs at the Privacy Surgeon. His book Privacy: A Personal Chronicle (2018) is published by EPIC. For more information see: https://www.epic.org/bookstore/

Articles

Cover for: Engineering trust: Why tech needs privacy by design

Nowhere is aversion towards transparency deeper than in the tech industry. The result of this corporate culture has been a massive breakdown of public trust. What management cannot fix, engineering must, argues leading privacy campaigner Simon Davies.

Cover for: Freedom through surveillance

Parading under the banner of a common front for freedom, governments worldwide have embarked on a security clampdown whose political fallout could be more damaging than the threat it seeks to banish, writes Simon Davies.

The British government is pushing ahead with legislation for a national identity card despite widespread opposition from the media, politics, and the public. The proposed card would one of the most far-reaching tracking systems internationally and would make use of a range of biometric data. The system would combine national security and crime prevention functions with immigration and employment controls, and provide for administrative convergence throughout the public and the private sectors. Many see such a scheme as inimical to a perceived British way of life and point to the fact that in many countries identity card systems have been inherited from authoritarian regimes. However, most ID card systems internationally have built-in safeguards preventing violation of citizens’ privacy; the fact that a country has an ID card system does not mean its populace supports the type of system proposed in the UK. Learning from other countries’ experience with ID card systems would increase the likelihood of the British government being able to develop a more popular scheme.

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