The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has told Parliament that there should be greater post-legislative scrutiny for laws that affect privacy to ensure that they are used as intended.
Information commissioner Christopher Graham said in the State of Surveillance report presented to the Home Affairs Select Committee that this scrutiny is necessary to prevent privacy being affected unintentionally by new laws.
"Many of the new laws that come into force have implications for privacy at their heart. My concern is that, after they are enacted, no-one looks back to see whether they are being used as intended or whether the powers were justified in practice," he said.
"The report clearly makes the case for government departments to build post-legislative scrutiny into their work as a key way of ensuring the successful delivery of the new transparency and privacy agenda."
Graham also argued that the private sector should be made to consider the privacy implications of new technologies before they are launched, rather than as an afterthought.
The Home Affairs Select Committee had requested a report from the ICO as part of its ongoing study into the so-called surveillance state.
The ICO is facing heavy criticism for the way it handled Google's collection of data from public Wi-Fi networks through its Street View service.
Tory MP Robert Halfon compared the ICO to the Keystone Cops, and claimed that the organisation had failed to send sufficiently qualified technical staff to deal with the incident, an accusation the ICO has denied.
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