What is the difference between bulk collection and bulk surveillance?

What is the difference between bulk collection and bulk surveillance? by Tony Garcia

Answer by Tony Garcia:

With regard to GCHQ specifically, Paul Bernal, Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law at the UK's University of East Anglia, states:

“Precisely what constitutes surveillance is far from agreed. In the context of the internet (and other digital data surveillance) there are, very broadly speaking, three stages: the gathering or collecting of data, the automated analysis of the data (including algorithmic filtering), and then the 'human' examination of the results of that analysis of filtering. This is where the difference lies: privacy advocates and others might argue that the 'surveillance' happens at the first stage—when the data is gathered or collected—while [former GCHQ directors]Theresa May and David Omand, and those who work for them, would be more likely to argue that it happens at the third stage, ([.e.,] when human beings are involved.”(1)

In other words, if surveillance occurs through the act of gathering personal data on a large scale, then clearly what the U.K. government is doing is is mass surveillance. However, if surveillance only occurs when a human operator looks at some of the gathered data, then, according to Theresa May, what the U.K. government is engaged in is not mass surveillance, because relatively little personal data is scrutinized in this way.(2)

(1) What's The Difference Between 'Mass Surveillance' And 'Bulk Collection'? Does It Matter?
(2) Ibid.

What is the difference between bulk collection and bulk surveillance?

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