There seems to be positive consensus where as individuals we will be able to take control of our data, who has it and who uses it. This through the new GDPR legislation coming out next year, which most companies are aware of. Millions of companies and organisations will have to abide by these new regulations. In the wider global community across the globe, including tech companies in the US, most believe this is a step in the right direction. 'Let us own and value our own data' is seen as a new paradigm on how we look at our own information and who controls it - us as individuals and not others!
On the other hand it seems that our Democratic governments feel that they can do what they want with the data, including sharing it with other countries with no real balances and checks. I personally do not have a problem of my data being shared, however if governments have too much power, then it can mean that our liberties and views and the ability to have free speech might be put at risk. This especially where extreme governments are concerned.
There is an understanding that without Big Data and the sharing of data across borders, then lives can be put at risk by extremists - if government services cannot intervene.
It is a fine line to walk on what we share, who we share it with and what happens to the data. Say some information is collected by a UK agency based on non accurate data (or inaccurate assumptions), it is then shared, then it comes to light the data was inaccurate when collected. Without the same controls on GDPR by the government agencies, how can that piece of information, be put right, if we no longer control it, or know who its gone to and who has accessed it. On the extreme, people might die if information cannot be amended and we lose sight of that data. It may be thought as a distant dream once data is shared out of our control but this can come back to bite us - one way or another.
I do not have the answers, however everyone ultimately must be accountable... perhaps GCHQ should also abide by GDPR maybe by proxy?
“One of the key issues is that the government is arguing that the safeguards that come from the Watson judgment and other cases don’t apply, which is very worrying because they are very basic measures,” said Millie Graham Wood, legal officer at Privacy International. The intelligence services argue that they would be unable to carry out complex and fast-moving investigations, for example to identify members of a terrorist group, if they had to rely on targeted surveillance on suspects, rather than mass collection of data. The action, heard in the Royal Courts of Justice, follows an earlier challenge by Privacy International at the Interception of Communications Tribunal, which ruled in October 2016 that the intelligence services had collected communications data unlawfully and without adequate checks and balances for 14 years.