Rahman Ravelli has found that 81% of UK millennials are unaware of the Investigatory Powers Act and its implications on their human rights.
The serious and corporate crime defence specialist firm, which has offices in Halifax, London and Birmingham, has conducted research into the public’s perception and knowledge of the Act – which has commonly been referred to as the “Snooper’s Charter” – and has also found that more than three quarters of people in the UK are unaware that the Act has been passed. The Act strengthens measures to spy on people’s personal information and also extends its reach to communications companies who must now hand over customer data to UK intelligence agencies.
It also provides better and more sophisticated technology to hack into computer systems, devices and shared networks. Given its seriousness and the overwhelming lack of awareness, the UK public, particularly millennials, need to be more informed about their digital footprint, according to Rahman Ravelli.
Aziz Rahman, senior partner at Rahman Ravelli, said: “The authorities now have near-unlimited sanction to access your browsing history, online habits and more – all without any evidence of wrongdoing.
“You would think that such a breach of privacy would be a point of concern for people, but instead the Act was passed with minimal complaint. It shows a real lack of awareness that needs to be addressed.”
Where millennials are concerned, they are vulnerable enough as it is. According to fraud prevention service Cifas, the last year saw a 34% rise in under-21s falling victim to fraud crime as a result of poor security measures.
Elsewhere, a Go Compare survey found that 86% of 18-24 year olds inadvertently share personal data on social media, which can then be used against them. From weak passwords (pets’ names were the most popular) to lax financial habits, young people are already leaving themselves open.
“Young people are at danger from either side now – they are vulnerable to hackers as well as the UK intelligence agencies. Because they have grown up with the internet, they have possibly become complacent.”
Rahman Ravelli has published an extensive guide on the Investigatory Powers Act, which explains what it means for human rights and breaks down the different kinds of surveillance methods used in the UK.