Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper today called on police and security services to do more to combat online crime and abuse, whilst still maintaining the public’s right to privacy.
The Labour MP told an audience, at an event organised by the Labour-linked Demos thinktank, that she had been "bombard[ed] with lingerie adverts" while reading the news online after surfing the web for underwear weeks before.
But she said that it was too much work to stop websites leaving cookies, which store information about your web habits, on her computer.
"Probably there were cookie buttons I could have pressed to protect my privacy," she admitted. "But like most of us, I found that was far too much hassle."
Cooper went on to brand the existing legislation governing internet privacy as outdated, and said police and intelligence agencies needed to be able to "operate more effectively" when tackling online crime.
"But for them to do so, we also need stronger safeguards and limits to protect our privacy and sustain confidence in their vital work," she said.
"The oversight and legal frameworks are now out of date. That means we need major reforms to oversight and a thorough review of the legal framework to keep up with changing technology.
"Above all we need the government to engage in a serious public debate about these new challenges and the reforms that are needed."
Plans were blocked last year by the Liberal Democrats to introduce new measures on data monitoring. The plans were dubbed a "snooper’s charter" and Nick Clegg said that his party would not support any change to existing data laws.
Last year, ministers hoped to include new measures on data monitoring in the Queen’s Speech.
The plans, which would have allowed the police and security services to track emails and other online communications, were blocked by the Liberal Democrats.
Cooper said: "Online communication and technology is forcing us to think again about our traditional frameworks for balancing privacy and safety, liberty and security.
"Perhaps most serious of all has been the growth in online child abuse. Last year the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency received 18,887 reports of child abuse – an increase of 14% on the year.
"The police and security services have been under pressure to explain why they did not know more about the murderers of Drummer Lee Rigby, and why more is not being done to disrupt the use of the internet by violent extremists looking to radicalise young people."