Draft Communications Data Bill enrages privacy groups

Rachel Robinson, policy advisor at privacy group Liberty, said, far from protecting UK residents, the Bill could expose them to other risks.

"[If the] data loss scandals of recent years have taught us anything it's that, if you create these honeypots of information they are hugely vulnerable to data theft, loss, abuse and blackmail," she explained.

If you create these honeypots of information, they are hugely vulnerable to data theft, loss, abuse and blackmail.

"The kind of information that will be retained here, under this Bill, is going to paint an incredibly intimate and full picture of our lives."

Meanwhile, William Heath, an adviser at the Foundation for Information Policy Research, claimed the Bill is unlikely to succeed because of the Government's poor grasp of technology.

"We think it is destined to join the other old fashioned government tech projects on the scrapheap, [such as] Nimrod and the [NHS] National Programme for IT...let's not let it get that far," he said.

Nick Pickles, director at civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, also poured scorn on the Government's technical abilities.

"There is no clear technical case as to how this can be done. Anybody who has worked with the Government on technical projects before won't be surprised [to hear] that," said Pickles.

"That doesn't mean [the Bill] is any more acceptable because it's being driven by people who are wilfully naive about the technical issues involved."

Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert stressed the fact that the Bill was in draft form, meaning there's still time for it to be changed before it gets the green light.

For example, the draft still needs to be debated by a 12-strong select committee, which will be led by Conservative MP David Maclean, before it's approved.

"This is just a starting point for the discussions," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.