Home Office officials are working on a system that could track every phone call and email sent in the UK and store the records in a government database.

MPs are to consider the scheme with the aim of including the proposals in the impending Communications Bill. If that happens, the snooping technology could become law later this year.

The Home Office insisted that the proposals, if put into action, would not compromise the privacy of the public. However, officials revealed that changes to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 would be required so public authorities "can continue to obtain and have access to communications data essential for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime purposes", according to the BBC.

Brian Spector, general manager of security firm Workshare, backed the plan, but said the government would need to prove its ability to keep data secure if the proposals are to achieve widespread support.

"Since losing the details of over 25 million child benefit claimants last November, the government has failed to effectively address the issue of data security," said Spector. "In March this year the same government was criticised by a joint select committee for its poor track record with data leaks, and earlier this month it was revealed that 600 HMRC staff have been disciplined over data security."