Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Function Creep And The Congestion Zone

Quite spectacular information from SpyBlog about the way the data gained from the Congestion Zone and Low Emission Zone Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, plus CCTV cameras can be - and let's face it, probably has been - sent to the US for their "law enforcement agencies" (read NSA, CIA, FBI).

The particular bit of note is this:

"A spokesman for Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, confirmed that the certificate* had been worded so that the images of private cars, as well as registration numbers, could be sent outside to countries such as the USA."

And as the system is live 24hrs a day, the US could - right now - be watching images of your car/van/motorbike. Despite you having done nothing. Oh, and these images could be held for up to five years. Despite you still not having done anything illegal.

* - The certificate (signed by the Home Secretary on July 4 2007) specifically sets out the level of data that can be sent to enforcement authorities outside the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) by anti-terrorist officers from the Metropolitan Police. It says: "The certificate relates to the processing of the images taken by the camera, personal data derived from the images, including vehicle registration mark, date, time and camera location."

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