Many have remarked upon the growth of the surveillance society, with CCTV cameras, Oyster card following our underground journeys, our mobile phones tracking our overground position, every electronic transaction leaving its data trail and many a modern shopkeeper like Tescos trailing our choices of budget or premium brands.

But I agree with you, surveillance in society is not a problem per se, though I would suggest that there are two significant issues worthy of attention.

1) The public mandate needs to be carefully maintained. Your reasoned debate helps here to counter the alarmist media. We must continually persuade others that the benefits, that is the common good delivered by surveillance, outweigh the costs (fiscal and personal privacy). It is noteworthy the effort Tesco expend to constrain their use of clubcard data to stay within their understanding of their customers’ consent. Their customers can of course vote with their feet more readily than your Wandsworth constituents.

2) We should be more explicit in the consideration of the ethical implications of surveillance. Perhaps Ethics Councils could be usefully established to consider codes of practice with respect the appropriate level of surveillance, in a similar manner to areas of academic reseach.