Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is Latest Camera Technology Request a Big Brother Step Too Far?

Police Want to Use London's Number Plate Recognition Equipment for 'Crime Prevention'
Shipping News Feature

UK – In a move which many will see as containing elements of the Big Brother society, Transport for London (TfL) is canvassing the opinions of drivers with regard to extending the powers which it can take regarding information it derives from the use of number plate recognition technology. Unfortunately the request comes with baggage and will be seen by many, if not most, as containing elements which seem intrusive, perhaps even intimidating.

The information currently gleaned from the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras is presently only routinely used to monitor and enforce Congestion Charging and the Low Emission Zone. The Mayor of London is considering extending this to allow the Metropolitan Police to have access to the films taken for ‘crime prevention reasons’, nothing too specific there, unlike what follows.

Respondents only have until April 8 to share their views via the government website which is collating the responses but, in order to give a view, it is necessary to pass on mandatory information such as who you are, where you live, date of birth, e mail address, work status, tenure (if and how you own or rent your dwelling) and ethnicity.

As the police presumably have the right to demand via the Court any evidence required in serious prosecutions many people may baulk at the fact that their movements would now be able to be routinely traced by police using technology never installed for such a purpose.

To enter the survey click HERE.