Former home secretary David Blunkett is to call on the government to make sure new powers that allow sensitive personal data to be shared across Whitehall departments cannot be misused.
Blunkett will give the 21st annual law lecture at Essex University today.
Blunkett also said he "remains to be convinced" by the government's plans to set up a centralised "super database" to track everybody's personal internet traffic, including e-mails.
He acknowledges widespread public concern about abuse of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
At the lecture, he will say that surveillance powers were never intended for councils to deal with dog fouling or waste management misuse. However, he will defend the use of CCTV cameras in public spaces and outside premises.
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The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a draft code of practice for its new auditing powers, which come into effect in April 2010.