According to Big Brother Watch (PDF), law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom have requested the personal metadata of citizens nearly three quarters of a million times in the past two years. That is, between 2012 and 2014, UK cops asked for identifying details pertaining to a text, email, phone call or search some 733,237 times. More than 90 percent of those requests were subsequently granted. That averages out to one fulfilled request every two minutes. Alarmingly, these metadata requests have only increased since 2012 with a whopping 250,000 of them coming last year alone. Even more worrisome, that BBW data originated from a series Freedom of Information Act demands and may under-represent the total number of requests actually made.
[Image Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive]