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Britain is one of the surveillance capitals of the world with everyday movements subject to more and more scrutiny, according to the Government's information commissioner. Demand is growing for a debate on the number of CCTV cameras in Britain - 20% of the world's spy cameras are in the UK - one for every 12 people.
Information commissioner Richard Thomas has warned the UK is in danger of turning into a Big Brother society.
He says more and more personal data is being collected on all of us by the state and big business.
A report ordered by his office found most techniques used to survey the UK public are automated and out of sight.
They include surveillance of international travel, consumer spending, internet use and mobile phones.
Some of this benefits the typical UK family, but it can be "personally threatening" and has wider consequences, the report warns.
It says surveillance can lead to the loss of individuals' anonymity and privacy in different areas of their lives.
The report, produced by a group of academics, predicts that by 2016 surveillance will be ramped up even more.
Shoppers may be scanned as they enter stores, while schools could bring in cards allowing parents to monitor what their children eat.
On the plus side, Mr Thomas said surveillance could help fight terrorism and crime and improve access to public services.
But he added: "As ever-more information is collected, shared and used it intrudes into our private space.
"Mistakes can also easily be made with serious consequences - mistaken identity, inaccurate facts or inferences and breaches of security."