After seeing Hawaii almost pass a bill which would have limited the online privacy of its residents, we asked how likely it would be to see it here in the UK
Katherine Wynn, a Senior Associate at law firm Pinsent Masons has confirmed that something similar to the Hawaii internet history bill would be ‘highly unlikely’ in the UK.
The bill, which was almost passed, would have required all internet service providers to keep internet histories on all its customers.
While a worrying thought, it is, according to Katherine Wynn, very unlikely that we would ever reach that point in the UK.
“Given the greater awareness internet users now have of the importance of privacy (especially as we use it so often in our daily lives), it is highly unlikely that such a law could be passed unless it included very stringent privacy provisions.”
It was believed that the decision to discuss the bill in Hawaii had been with policing in mind, by keeping records it's presumed that it will be easier to catch those who commit crimes with the help of the web.
The UK does in fact offer something similar according to Wynn, however it is much more strictly controlled than what was being suggested by the island’s representatives.
“While the UK does allow for a record of internet data to be kept in some very specific circumstances (such as the investigation of serious crime), these are subject to the strict restrictions of the UK and EU data protection laws.”
“Crucially, even the powers to keep a record of internet data do not extend to the content accessed online, e.g. which websites an individual has visited; it only applies to IP addresses.”
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