If anyone has an interest in what governments can do with data in the future, here's a little history lesson of what one person with some power did to many, many people using old data the govt had gathered previously.
This is relatively recent history.
While communication improvements in the last few decades give the ability to shine more light on abhorrent state/government behaviour, events of recent years show this does not eliminate the behaviour.
- Syria had a reasonably modern society, and its government has dropped chemical weapons on its citizens. Any citizen with a digital footprint there that may have even passing links to the rebellion would likely have cause for significant concern.
- Ukraine has a modern society. They were invaded by a larger neighbour and world leaders issued some strongly worded letters to the invaders. Would the new 'owners' of the country tread lightly with existing state-harvested metadata?
- The USA has a modern society, and a radical new leader has recently taken steps that a couple of years ago I would have thought just would never be possible.
If a Trump-like figure took power in NZ would I want him to be able to troll through the last couple of years of my digital footprints? Absolutely not.
If I manage to annoy a government employee could that place me at risk? Apparently in NZ the answer is yes. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11817449