In addition, surveillance of the public by companies or
by other individuals should be subject to conditions,
and again, the opinion addresses the principles that
govern these forms of ‘commercial’ or individual
surveillance, and the manner in which the data so
gathered may be used as part of a data mining or profiling system by private entities or the state.
The digital revolution and subsequent advances in
mobile, wireless and networked devices have significantly contributed to the development of security and surveillance technologies. New technologies offer the possibility of recording the everyday activities of billions of individuals across the globe. Our mobile phones can identify and pinpoint our location at any given moment, loyalty cards allow commercial entities to analyse our spending and track our personal preferences, keystroke software monitors our performance and productivity in the workplace and our electronic communications can be screened for key words or phrases by intelligence services. Moreover, personal data concerning our health, employment, travel and electronic communications are stored in databases,
and data mining techniques allow for large amounts
of personal data from these disparate sources to be
organised and analysed, thereby facilitating the discovery of previously unknown relationships within these
data. Security technologies are no longer discrete; the trend is toward convergence, creating more powerful
networked systems. Thus, our everyday lives are scrutinised by many actors as never before, all made possible by developments in technology together with political choices or lack thereof.