back to article EU privacy watchdog warns on transport monitoring

New systems planned by the European Commission to ease traffic problems across Europe do not adequately protect the privacy of travellers, according to the regulator set up to monitor the privacy implications of Commission actions. The European Commission plans to create a framework within which it will be easier for …


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  1. Martin 19
    Big Brother

    Well, duh

    The 1,800,000 people who signed the "No Road Pricing petition" realised this 3 years ago.

    The main problem is that it can't work anyway, RP solves the symptom (traffic jam) rather than the actual problem (people/goods not being able to travel effectively). You're replacing one barrier to travel with another. Unless of course all those people in cars around Spaghetti Junction every morning and night are there for fun, of course.


  2. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Cheers for the EU

    Shocking, a regulator that actually regulates instead of bowing down and accommodating their masters' views. Who'd have thunk it?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Sometimes the EU gets it right

    I don't see anyine in the UK government objecting to collecting too much data on tracking individuals, quite the reverse. Nice to see someone at least raising objections.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Gotta love...

    .... "could be used to monitor individuals' movements across the continent"

    in the UK should

    "WILL be used to monitor individuals' movements across the continent"

  5. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    So yet more control placed on us...

    "used to monitor individuals' movements across the continent." and "The Commission said that ITS would join up information from the road, water and air transport networks and that this would reduce congestion and the damaging effects transport has on the environment."

    So how long after that will they use their knowledge of all our movements to create new taxes? (e.g. carbon road tax, road ware tax, congestion charge, road type tax). The comment "reduce congestion and the damaging effects transport has on the environment." ... is exactly this kind of taxation. Road type tax is a good one as they can then charge people on how far they drive and what roads they used? ... 'A' Roads cost more than 'B' roads and motorways will nearly bankrupt you within 100 miles. Its just an extension of what they do in London already, just extending it to every road. Then of course we also have average speed monitoring on every road, so don't ever dare go even 1 mile an hour over the limit anywhere at any time, no matter how quite the motorway road is. You don't think citizen, you obey. Plus then soon afterwards, they will also start to sell this travel information to insurance companies who will then be able to “adjust” our car and travel insurance based on what kinds of roads we drive on. In other words, find more ways to squeeze more money out of us all.

    The control freak politicians will not be able to resist exploiting this extra knowledge for their own gain. They always do eventually.

    Plus we all know knowledge is power, but with ever growing knowledge on all of us, what safeguards are in place to prevent the greedy political elite from exploiting the ever growing knowledge (and power) for their own gain, at our expense.

    So another day and another erosion of our freedom, liberty and privacy. It seems almost continuous these days. How much longer are we supposed to endure this ever greater erosion?. Soon we won't be able to drive anywhere without them spying on us. Yet again, the control freak politicians need to learn that every attempt at control creates a pressure for change away from that control. Therefore the more control the political elite place on all our lives the more public anger their arrogant control freak attitude will keep building up against themselves, until it'll reach breaking point.

    I said it yesterday and I'll say it again today: The idea the UK could see a full scale revolution was once unthinkable. But given the near continuous way the UK is plunging into a police state, its sadly becoming ever more probable. The MP expenses argument showed just how much public anger has already built against them. So combine the MPs arrogant, self serving corruption with their very evident continued destruction of Freedom and Liberty and the outright total annihilation of any kind of privacy. Then is it any wonder ever more anger is building up against all control freak politicians regardless of which party they are in.

  6. DI_Wyman


    Why not just implant an RFID chip in world+dog and get it over with!

  7. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Hear hear!

    It's good to see that someone understands that widespread (and indiscriminate) tracking of people's movements is not a good thing.

    Whether those in power, however, get the point or just think "well, it'll make anti-terrorism/ policing/ road pricing/ something else simpler" is another matter entirely...

  8. Dom 1


    This already exists in the UK. ANPR and traffic cameras already record and store ALL passing vehices data - regardless of wether or not the driver/vhicle has been involved in crime or has no Tax/MOT/Insurance etc.

  9. Scott Mitchell
    Big Brother

    Why do you tolerate this?

    I work and live in Glasgow, the violence capital of Europe (if not the world), yet we don't have much CCTV here, the cops are mostly decent helpful people (never thought I'd say that) and they don't randomly search us. My council empties my bins weekly and my scheme is pretty well maintained.

    The English equivalent sounds like the complete opposite. You're spied on, treated like cattle and monitored with CCTV every square inch. Yet you tolerate it. Why?

    BTW before you say "Gordon Brown never treats his own like he does us" you may want to check who runs our government and makes our laws. Clue: not Labour.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do congest more than others???

    Wait, so why is there any private data being recorded at all there? Does John congest the road more than Jim or Jane?

    Surely it's the number of cars that is important for congestion, not WHICH cars.

    I really wish this current EU Commission would just stop. José Manuel Barroso panders to the extremists of Europe, as a result the basics are being lost. So many times he's driven through some ridiculous anti/freedom agenda of Blair's, or that bitter nutter in Germany in the wheelchair who hates the world and behaves like a character from Dr Strangelove.

    I hope they don't re-elect him, his watch has be pitiful, what's needed now is a President who will drive more rights for individual citizens. No more Bush/Blair surveillance agenda, no more Bush/Blair barriers between countries or anti citizen attacks on liberty.

  11. Michael Nielsen

    I always wonder

    Let's say they introduce this, logging of movement to the degree that governments seem to want.

    and let us do a tought experiment.

    A wife runs from her abusive and violent husband, who just happens to have some friends inside the policeforce, or whatever.

    The poor woman takes the family car, and is looking for a place to hide, runs to a shelter, girlfriend, or hotel, from the wrath of her husband.

    The husband calls in a favour from his police fiends, and find out where the woman is hiding..

    The rest can be read in the newspapers the next day, "violent husband kills his wife".

    And yet I guarantee, that there will be no mention of the fact that the total surveillance of people's movments facilitated this.

    Let's do another one.. A rapist has somehow managed to infiltrate the survilance system, may even appear as a very aggreeable police officer, or official.

    He is now able to monitor women moving around, and finding out who has a tendency to walk alone, and what patterns they follow, and when they are in locations where the monitoring system has a few holes.

    So one evening the woman takes her regular walk through the streets - the rest can be read in the papers the next day!.

    Of course these scenaries does not require the total surveillance systems that are being introduced, but these total surveillance systems changes the opportunities for criminals, as rather than having to stake out someone, and follow them for sometime to find out their patterns, they can access a central database, and obtain all the information about individual movments through time, and find out if there are any patterns, and where a person is most vunerable.

    It is ofc political incorrect to mention that this can be done, and most people seem to think that police, and trusted officials are some kind of angels, that are not criminals, and criminals could never obtain access to this movment data... But fact is, trusted persons are just that humans, and have as many flaws as the rest of us, in fact it is possible that they are highly criminal, but they just haven't been caught yet.

    Politicians will call the scenaries as "conspriators", or "paraonia" etc, to try to remove focus from the fact that these very scenaries are very possible, and as technologi implements face tracking, resource tracking and so forth, the information will be more complete, and will in increasing degrees facilitate criminality.

    Robbing houses, because you Know they're empty, robbing people in their houses, because you know there's only one elderly person at home, and so forth... Thus the risks of being caught can be significantly reduced by the surviellance. Of course there are possilibities of catching some criminals using the surveillance system, it is more likely that people working together can use the system to obscure their activities, and make it safer for criminals to be active.

    Perhaps I am paranoid, however, it seems to me that these systems are as dangerous to indviduals as they are to criminals.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I'm not really sure I understand why there may be a problem...

    If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Anybody who uses an ATM or electronic point of use payment system across europe or who travels through a toll booth, for example, is already tracked. What difference will ITS monitoring make??

    That it is fraudulently being sold as a way of helping traffic management is surely of greater concern. It demonstrates that either the clowns putting it in don't know what they're doing or do know what they're doing but don't understand how it can be 'abused' or, worse still, do know what they're doing, know the public is (generally) ignorant and want to put it in as they can see the information derived can be readily fitted in to a "better" control and monitoring system.

    Oppose ID cards & NIDB, travel by public transport, pay in cash and keep your passport in a foil wallet if you want to retain your annonymity as much as possible. Be prepared for the 4am tap on the door and the official asking if you're dead or not as they haven't seen you about lately...

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