Oxford City Council plans to install CCTV’s in taxis

November 16th, 2011 - 12:01 am ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Oxford, Nov 15 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Lawmakers at the Oxford City Council have proposed a new surveillance system that will virtually travel with the residents. According to the new plan, new taxis will be fitted with CCTV cameras to record sound and visuals in the car.

The cameras will automatically be turned on as soon as the ignition key is turned. When the engine is stopped, the camera will be on for 30 more minutes before it will stop recording. The footage will be sent to a central server where it will be stored on a hard drive for at least 28 years before being deleted.

The cameras will cost the city council £400 each for a taxi. It is estimated that 107 taxis along with 545 private hire vehicles will be fitted with the cameras bringing the total cost of £260,000 to the council.

The city officials say the data will be encrypted and will only be accessed when the police initiate investigation into a crime. The plan doesn’t seem right for some groups who believe the measure is another way that the government wants to keep an eye on the public.

Civil liberty groups have attacked the plan. Campaigner Nick Pickles said that, “This is a staggering invasion of privacy, being done with no evidence, no consultation and a total disregard for civil liberties. Big Brother now has big ears, and they are eavesdropping on your conversations with absolutely no justification.”

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