Buckinghamshire CC ANPR cameras

Ian Mason ukcrypto at sourcetagged.ian.co.uk
Tue Jan 10 08:59:38 GMT 2012

On 9 Jan 2012, at 23:04, Ian Batten wrote:

> 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.

What people have a problem with is their location being made available  
in circumstances other than those where it is clearly necessary. The  
clearly necessary circumstances are ones that the vehicle  
identification marks were designed for - causing damage, breaching the  
law, etc. Outside those circumstances you do have a right to anonymity  
and for your privacy not to be interfered with. While many  
hypothetical cases for privacy have been made here, stalking et al,  
there is a presumption in law (HRA) and in implicit social codes of  
conduct for a right to respect for privacy and family life, and  
systems that can breach those ought to be designed to effectively  
protect them except in the necessary circumstances and only in those  

In the case in point, monitoring traffic flows by recording individual  
vehicle movements, there is clearly a risk to legitimate privacy and  
there are clearly steps that can be taken in the design of systems to  
do this that would protect privacy without defeating the purpose of  
the systems or increasing their costs in any significant way. Given  
that that is the case, these systems should be so designed. Failing to  
do so is sloppy and shows little respect or even contempt for people's  
privacy rights.


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