Buckinghamshire CC ANPR cameras

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Mon Jan 9 23:04:35 GMT 2012

On 9 Jan 2012, at 1850, John Wilson wrote:

> The problem, as I see it, is that the people collecting and storing
> this information don't believe it's sensitive.

They might also make the point, which is not entirely without merit, that in order to use the data for most of the purposes proposed you would need to breach the data protection act to find the registered keeper of the vehicle, or find the vehicles that your subject is the registered keeper of.  And in many cases, especially those you're invoking about assassinations, it's unlikely the target would be the registered keeper anyway.  Knowing the registration mark of the vehicle David Cameron travels in from one day to the next is, I suggest, difficult.  If your response is "ah, but I know the registration mark of my perhaps-errant spouse's car" then I'd suggest that, rather than go to the effort of stealing data from the ANPR systems, I'd just place a GPS tracker on his/her car, to which I presumably have access.  Once you reduce the use-case to vehicles for which you can obtain registration marks without breaching other laws, but which you do not have physical access to, but where coarse-grained data on historic locations would be of value, you're really dredging for applications.

> to random academics and employees of engineering companies. Eventually
> somebody will buy a hard disk off eBay and find a years worth of
> traffic data fron central London.

Suppose I have a copy of the movement data of vehicles from last year.  So what?

You local garage presumably has ANPR records of every vehicle which has bought petrol there for the past months or years.  Suppose it were stolen.  What's the risk?

I think the idea that you can drive around in public, in a taxed, insured vehicle with big clear identification marks at each end, where there are clear public interests in ensuring that the vehicle is taxed, insured and MoT'd, and where a variety of crimes can be deterred, detected and punished by simply reading the identifying marks placed there for that very purpose, and still have an expectation that you can do so without your location being occasionally made available is fantastical.   Cars are dangerous things, which society rightly regulates in terms of who can own and use and the conditions under which they can be owned and used.   I think claiming that you have a right to anonymity under those circumstances is a real case of begging the question.


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