If your boss makes you wear a pass to get into the canteen or your telephone operator demands your life history just to pay off a bill, then they may be the perfect candidates for a 'stupid security' award from Privacy International.

Following its Big Brother awards, which it presents each year to bodies guilty of breaching personal privacy, the civil liberties group today unveiled its latest assault on the industry, its 'stupid security' awards, which will be given to those bodies who enforce the most absurd security practices.

Privacy International's director Simon Davies launched the awards because of the "innumerable" security initiatives around the world that offer no genuine benefit.

"The situation has become ridiculous," said Davies. "Security has become the smokescreen for incompetent and robotic managers the world over."

"The world has become infested with bumptious administrators competing to hinder or harass us and often for no good reason whatsoever," he added.

The competition, which is open to anyone, runs until 15 March. All nominations should be emailed to [email protected]

A panel of security experts, journalists and public policy specialists will judge the worst offenders.

The winners will be announced at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in New York on 3 April.