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March 5, 2002 by

Privacy group awards Big Brothers

LONDON--A proposal by the National Criminal Intelligence Service to store all UK Internet traffic for seven years in a single data warehouse won the Big Brother Award for Most Appalling Project on Monday night. The Big Brother Awards are presented annually by Privacy International to the companies and individuals that have done most to erode the privacy of the citizen, and are accompanied by the "Winstons", which are awarded to those who have done most to protect privacy. The NCIS warehousing proposal beat into second place the Electoral Reform Society which was nominated for its patronage of a report by the Independent Commission on alternative voting methods which, said the judges, provides a "woefully scant assessment of the substantial privacy and security threats arising from electronic voting". Alongside the NCIS as winners of Big Brother Awards were the Norwich Union, which won the Most Invasive Company award for using unapproved genetic tests for potentially fatal diseases when assessing whether to offer life insurance cover to people. The Norwich Union was the only Big Brother winner to have a representative present to collect its award. --Matt Loney, ZDNet UK


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