WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A European civil liberties group says the United States is among the most surveilled democracies in the world, along with Britain, Thailand and the Philippines.
A new study by Privacy International gives the United States a 2.0 privacy rating, higher than either the Philippines or Thailand, but way behind Canada, Belgium and Germany, all of which scored 3.0 or higher.
The study, called The Privacy and Human Rights Report, was published Friday.
Britain's ranking of 1.5 is the lowest of any democracy and just barely more than Singapore, Russia and China, each of which score 1.3.
The scale is calculated by averaging scores in a number of categories, including constitutional and statutory protection; privacy enforcement; ID cards and biometrics; visual surveillance; communications interception; finances and trans-border travel, and democratic safeguards.
The U.S. score was dragged down by the weakness of its statutory protections for privacy -- especially in the private sector -- its data collection and retention policies at the border and the absence of any independent privacy oversight agency.
The study assesses the state of technology, surveillance and privacy protection in all 25 European Union countries and 11 other nations.