Recording the voice of passengers on public transport and in taxis has to be an illegal breach of personal privacy
Big Brother Watch carries the following:
Be careful what you say if you decide to take a taxi or the bus in Oxford – every word will be recorded.
Despite being in clear breach of the guidance issued by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and a gross invasion of privacy, Oxford Council has decided to make it a condition for all licensed black cabs in the city to record both audio and video.
The audio will be available to council officers and the police, and will cover any time the taxi’s engine is running and the 30 minutes after the engine has been switched off.
Big Brother is watching – and listening – in Oxford
The purpose, apparently, is to protect drivers from assault. I suspect that the majority of assaults are mindless, either through drink or shortage of brain cells. In either case, the existence of voice recording will not stop the assault.
Those assaults that are not mindless are likely to be targeted. In such cases the attacker doesn’t usually talk much before perpetrating the attack. So once again, the existence of voice recording will not stop the assault.
Once again we have this absurd notion in this country that if we eliminate the privacy of the innocent we will prevent crime and capture the guilty. I hope that the Information Commissioner stamps on this very hard. It has to be a breach of both moral and actual law – and if it isn’t, it bloody well should be.