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Powerful countries encourage and enable other governments to deploy advanced surveillance capabilities without adequate safeguards.
From facial recognition to social media monitoring, from remote hacking to the use of mobile surveillance equipment called 'IMSI catchers', UK police forces are using an ever-expanding array of surveillance tools to spy on us as we go about our everyday lives.
Human rights defenders are continuously at risk of violence, intimidation and surveillance as a direct consequence of the work they do, with women or those opposing large corporations bearing the brunt of these forms of repression.
Privacy International spoke to four activists based in Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa to learn more about their understanding and experiences of surveillance. Their testimonies illustrate how the promises that came with innovation and the use of new technologies have not been enjoyed by all equally, and how some groups in society - such as human rights defenders - have experienced the impact of surveillance and the exploitation of data by governments and companies more severely than others.
Below is an outline of the main issues that these four activists brought to our attention which reflect the concerns raised previously by other organisations and HRDs across the world.