(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says an “adult conversation” is needed on new intelligence-gathering technologies that allow unprecedented access to the private lives of Americans.
At a question-and-answer session at Chatham House Friday in London, Clinton said that “we need to have a sensible, adult conversation about what is necessary to be done” regarding surveillance technologies, “and how to do it in a way that is as transparent as it can be, with as much oversight and citizen understanding as can be.”
The comments are among the first the potential 2016 presidential candidate has made on the issue of individual liberty and security. Clinton did not directly mention Edward Snowden, the former government IT contractor who leaked sensitive National Security Agency information to the media.
Clinton said the problem is not limited to government surveillance.
“At least speaking for the United States, much more personal information about many more Americans is held by businesses in the United States than by our government. So how do we sort all of this out? This is a new problem,” Clinton said.
“People need to be better informed, but I think it would be going down a wrong path if we were to somehow reject the importance of both the debate and the kinds of intelligence activities that genuinely keep us safer.”
–CNN’s Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.