The former head of MI5, Baron Evans of Weardale, has warned that private firms are compiling detailed personal profiles of ordinary citizens using methods that are "just as intrusive" as those deployed by Britain’s intelligence agencies. He said during a debate on security and freedom that firms were using "open source" material to learn "an awful
lot about what you do on a daily basis and who you associate with" to an
extent that "would be very surprising" to most of the public. They are facing limited legal controls that are much weaker than those applied to the intelligence agencies.