Buckinghamshire CC ANPR cameras

John Wilson tugwilson at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 16:48:23 GMT 2012

Bucks County Council have installed about a dozen ANPR cameras on
roads leading in to Aylesbury and in Aylesbury town centre as part of
a central Government funded "Urban Traffic Management" scheme. The
idea is that this data is to be used to collect journey times to allow
them to give warnings of congestion to motorists (quite what the
motorists are supposed to do with the information is not explained).
They also run CCTV cameras as part of this scheme.

The cameras send data to the council control room and to Thames Valley
Police as two separate data feeds. It appears that the council also
gets data from some TVP cameras but they are a bit cagey about the
details. They say that that "To ensure anonymity all VRN information
will be depersonalised in accordance with the national UTMC protocol"
I've looked at the UTMC site http://www.utmc.uk.com/ but can't find
any specification of a "depersonalisation" algorithm.

The Council seems to believe that whilst the CCTV images are covered
by the DPA but that the "depersonalised" ANPR data are not.

Has anybody got experience of similar schemes in other places?

Is there a standard "depersonalisation" algorithm? If so anybody know
what it is?

It seems to me to be reasonably hard to anonymise this data stream and
to retain its utility, especially if there is no central spec for the
mechanism and Thales or whoever decide that running it through SHA-1
will do the trick.

I've put in an FoI request which, amongst other things, asks for the
details of the algorithm but with no lively hope of success.

John Wilson

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