back to article OSC spurns queries on London charge zone data export

Pictures of cars and number plates from London's congestion charge zone, even outside of its operating hours, can now be exported wholesale to the US authorities, it was claimed yesterday - but regulators refuse to answer questions about it. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced last July that the Metropolitan Police would be …


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  1. Matthew Joyce

    Perfect response

    I must remember to instruct a solicitor to answer each and every question that way should the current legal farce invent an excuse to "detain" me: "He notes your interest in these matters but does not think it appropriate to answer your questions. I am sorry I cannot be more helpful."

  2. Trevor Watt

    It was AWAYS going to happen.

    Was there ever any doubt in any naturally thinking persons mind that this was going to happen? Whilst it is very alarming it is very obvious too, if your in surveillance your not going to waste a resource like that.

    Of course the people with things to hide will just use borrowed vehicles or public transport to enter the city, they are not going to do it in vehicles registered to them.

    So the rest of us will just get monitored anyway. Still, perhaps just eventually it will all come to light to the ordinary citizen as to what this all means. I just hope it is not to late when it does.

    So there you are. For now at least, and under the banner of 'Terrorism' we can all be monitored by any law enforcement agency in the world, if they just care to ask the government of the day for teh data. And I pity anyone who thinks this is a party political thing, it will carry on regardless of who holds office.

  3. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    in other words...

    fuck off you nosy peasant.

    This is just another example of the complete disdain with which treats us.

    Fortunately I do not 'interface' with the congestion charge system, but as more cameras roll out nationwide (particularly the 'SPECS' fuckers)...

  4. The Cube

    This is not new

    From the very first days of the digital 'speed' cameras being added to the 'ring of steel' back when the IRA were still in business there was permanent retention of every vehicle image, whether speeding or not. The police farce knew perfectly well this was illegal but did it anyway as it was an excellent resource for them to keep. Of course the plod excuse for this is that it is 'for the purposes of crime prevention and detection' which really means 'we can't be arsed to do any actual hard detective work, if a search on ANPR doesn't turn anything up we just move on'.

    Now send in the same query with regard to the regular fishing expiditions through the Oyster card database made by the Met and you will find exactly the same behaviour. The only difference now is that thanks to the Deregulation of Investigatory Powers act everyone down to the YTS oiks at NCP are allowed to go fishing in your personal data with no supervision or safeguard. Personally I would have more confidence if Ken gave all this data to Fidel Castro than the Septics, I know which administration has some trace of respect left for human rights and its citizens...

    Any system with this level of access must be regarded as compromised, it is simply not reasonable to expect any security from these processes.

    Whatever happened to restricting the use of data to that for which it was originally collected and with the permission of the subject???

  5. Anonymous Coward

    @ dervheid

    AFAIK there is a national linked ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system already, whether there are SPECS cameras (the speed-enforcing variety) up or not. Around the motorways in this part of the country there are countless plate-reading cameras on most stretches, put up a few years ago with the express purpose of allowing the authorities to track vehicle movements, and to keep a database of all movements (of all vehicles) for about 2 years IIRC.

    PS I am writing this on a cold bright day in April, and the clocks have just struck 13:00 GMT

  6. Frank Bough

    I Love the Idea

    ..that the Americans need to ASK for ConCharge camera data. As if. We are a wholly owned subsidiary. You just know they've got a live feed. Ask!

  7. Christoph

    @ Trevor Watt

    No need to use borrowed vehicles. Just like everybody else does, the terrorists will use false number plates.

    And just as happened to a lot of innocent people in the Operation Ore case, the police will charge in and grab the person that the number is registered to in spite of knowing full well that it may be forged.

    So the first thing that the registered owner of the plate will know about it is waking up with a bag over their head on the way to Guantanamo.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to 1984

    Yep, always gonna happen.

    I'm just glad that a) I dont drive into London (or anywhere else for that matter) and b) my Oyster card is a PAYG and has no ties to me personally.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Function Creep...

    is where the requirements increase in response to the customer realising what else the thing could do. With these cameras it was ALWAYS planned to include these extra functions.

    To know what happens next just project to the worst senario. The thing that happens next is the next thing on that path. Who says that ANPR looks at number plates alone. Obviously it catches your whole car and I expect the cameras have a good go at catching your face.

    Driving over the Dartford crossing M25 you will see these new IN YOUR FACE average speed cameras over the next 10 miles. People who hide their faces are hiding from cameras. Bikers, Hoodies and Muslim women alike are being naughty.

    I am posting anonymously because I would basically like to drive without being tracked.

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