Government compiles travel records database

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Indy Politics

The Government is compiling a database to track and store the international travel records of millions of people.

The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details for all 250 million journeys made in and out of the UK each year.



The computerised pattern of every individual's travel history will be kept for up to 10 years.



The government says the database is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.



But opposition MPs and privacy campaigners fear it is a significant step towards a surveillance society.



Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: "The government seems to be building databases to track more and more of our lives.



"The justification is always about security or personal protection. But the truth is that we have a government that just can't be trusted over these highly sensitive issues. We must not allow ourselves to become a Big Brother society."



A spokesman for campaign group NO2ID said: "When your travel plans, who you are travelling with, where you are going to and when are being recorded you have to ask yourself just how free is this country?"



The e-Borders scheme covers flights, ferries and rail journeys.



The Home Office say similar schemes run in other countries including the United States, Canada, Spain and Australia.



Its website states "The information will be kept for no more than 10 years. It will be protected in keeping with the Data Protection Act and appropriate security controls will ensure it is not used or accessed incorrectly."



Minister of State for borders and immigration Phil Woolas said: "The UK has one of the toughest borders in the world and we are determined to ensure it stays that way.



"Our hi-tech electronic borders system will allow us to count all passengers in and out of the UK and targets those who aren't willing to play by our rules. Already e-Borders has screened over 75 million passengers against immigration, customs and police watch-lists, leading to over 2,700 arrests for crimes such as murder, rape and assault."

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