Respect privacy

The privacy of the individual should be respected at all times.
 
We feel that citizens' right to private and confidential communication is vital, but at present it is not respected. We will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring communication traffic (i.e. telephone calls, post, Internet traffic, emails), and require specific warrants to be issued by a court before the police are allowed to monitor communications traffic.
 
We will ensure that the freedom to encrypt data and communications is not abridged or limited and that access to the tools that make secure communications easier is not restricted.
 
We will significantly strengthen data protection laws, ensuring that companies holding personal information give data subjects more information about their rights; apply a standardised minimum level of security to data; and are clear about their policies on data retention and amendment.
 
We will make it easier to apply to a court for compensation where data protection laws have been breached, and increase the penalties for any breaches of data protection laws.  We will allow the courts to apply these penalties to both the individuals and companies responsible, proportionally to the scale of the breach.
 
We will insist that searches of personal property should only be done with reasonable suspicion of a serious criminal offence, and that any targeted surveillance requires a warrant. We will also introduce an annual independent audit of all cases in which surveillance is used, using the results to ensure that any legislation that allows intrusive acts is no broader than absolutely required and is used appropriately.
 
We will introduce laws on the acceptable use of CCTV cameras in both public and private spaces. While we recognise that there are arguments for the use of CCTV under some circumstances, it should not be considered a replacement for police officers on the beat, and it must not be used as an excuse for unrestricted spying on the public.
 
We want clearer guidelines and restrictions on the use of DNA records by authorities, to ensure samples are only taken voluntarily, or when there are reasonable grounds to suspect the individual of having committed a serious offence. Samples should be promptly destroyed if the individual is acquitted or not charged with a criminal offence, and they should only be held for the length of time for which there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect has committed a crime. The guidelines should ensure that we follow European law on removal of DNA records.

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