Britain is “waking up to a surveillance society that is already all around us,” the government’s Information Commissioner has said.
Richard Thomas spoke after research found people’s actions were increasingly being monitored.
The Surveillance Studies Network report says there are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras – about one for every 14 people.
Other techniques are used to record people’s work rate, buying habits and travel movements.
Surveillance will increase in the next decade, the report adds.
Mr Thomas called for a debate about the risks if information gathered is wrong or falls into the wrong hands.
Britain is ‘surveillance society’