Buckinghamshire CC ANPR cameras

Ian Mason ukcrypto at sourcetagged.ian.co.uk
Tue Jan 10 13:21:20 GMT 2012

On 10 Jan 2012, at 11:51, Ian Batten wrote:

> On 10 Jan 2012, at 0859, Ian Mason wrote:
>> 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 circumstances.
> I would be somewhat surprised were Article 8 rights to extend to  
> driving cars.   I'd certainly want to see some case law.
>> In the case in point, monitoring traffic flows by recording  
>> individual vehicle movements, there is clearly a risk to legitimate  
>> privacy
> I'm not so sure: I think it's at least arguable that driving a car  
> is a privilege, not a right (cf the license you need in order to do  
> it) and the state therefore has different obligations and  
> constraints as compared to something that doesn't require a  
> license.    I don't have a dog in this fight, and I'm more  
> interested in exploring the issues rather than declaiming a fixed  
> position, but I'm not at all convinced that a right to drive without  
> data being incidentally gathered about you really exists.  Perhaps  
> it should, but I don't think it exists today.

The Article 8 right is not conditioned directly by what you're doing -  
with the possible exception of the 'no privilege in iniquity'  
principal. As far as the HRA goes one simply has a right to privacy.  
If the government wish to interfere with that right they must have (1)  
a legitimate reason that is acceptable in a democratic society and (2)  
interfere only just enough (i.e. proportionately) to achieve (1). Now,  
my whereabouts can most definitely be determined by where my vehicle  
is as it is (1) registered to me, (2) insured only for me to drive and  
both bits of information are available to the police and other  
governmental authorities. Knowing where I am is a question of privacy,  
the fact that I would object to all and sundry knowing my location at  
any arbitrary time is, I would argue, prima facie evidence that  
personal location has some aspect of privacy.

If I'm speeding, driving without insurance etc. I think it is  
reasonable for the government, if they have the ability, to know where  
I was when this happened. What is not reasonable, or proportionate, is  
to track where I am and indefinitely store that information just in  
case I might do something wrong or have done something wrong. The  
latter is the meat and drink of repressive closed societies like the  
former East Germany and China that we in the West have rightly and  
roundly condemned for many years. Why should it be acceptable here?


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