Last year saw the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), the so-called 'snooper's charter', and now, as it turns out, a lot of people can see your internet history – at least 20,395 to be precise, according to a new study from whoishostingthis.com
For those of you who are unaware, the IPA is a new law that means the government now logs the mobile phone and internet use of everyone in the country, bypassing encryption along the way. Filing almost 100 Freedom of Information requests, the site managed to find out just how many people can see that data, and it can be broken down as:
Data provided by WhoIsHostingThis.com.
The site says that this is a "lower bound" and that this is the minimum amount. It goes as far as to say that this number only accounts for two-thirds of the organizations mentioned in the Act, and that it will likely update the total with revised, larger, figures.
Breaking down the numbers, the largest amount of access comes from the police force, with Police Inspectors able to view a truncated version of your internet history. The total of police is 14,756, but this is based on incomplete data and will likely be a much larger number.
One particular area of concern from this study is MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, as it's currently unknown how many people in these agencies have access.
The site emphasises that it is not trying to "shame" those who have access to data, but that it is attempting to shock people into realising just how wide-open the access is. It also notes that the UK government has had several run-ins with personal data loss in the past and that it should be an area of concern.
For a full breakdown of everything in the research, head over to WhoIsHostingThis.com