Buckinghamshire CC ANPR cameras

James Firth james2 at jfirth.net
Tue Jan 10 14:14:37 GMT 2012

Ian Mason wrote:
> 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. 

Many people are ensured to drive your vehicle through their own policies, on
a temporary basis.

> 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. 

However, if you also have a mobile phone in your pocket (or many built in to
your car) your movements are already tracked and stored as required under
the data retention directive.  

In a legislative environment where the EU has effectively mandated tracking
to a far higher, more personalised degree than car number plates, when each
car could be driven by any number of people, and each phone is highly
unlikely to be carried by another person, then it's hard to make a case
about proportionality and effectiveness for the tracking and storage of car
number plates at a finite number of fixed locations.

I'm not condoning it, just pointing out the absurdity of arguing against one
technology whilst another technology has arguably a far more intrusive data
capture regime in place.

Yes, you can get from A to B without your phone. But you can
beg/steal/borrow a car or even run the risk of using false plates. The
latter being a clear example of how such laws never target seriously
organised criminals - just the riff raff and the general law-abiding public.

James Firth

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