Wednesday, April 19, 2006

UK Car Surveillance Delayed

UK car tracking database delayed to boost capacity | The Register
Known as the "Auto Number Plate Recognition" or "ANPR" system, this UK road spying and automated speed ticketing system is being expanded before it is even off the ground.

Cameras across Britain will record license plate numbers of every car passing thousands of roadside monitoring stations. The plate numbers are sent to a database tracking where that plate has been seen over time. West Yorkshire bobbies have been given hand held computers to access that information at any time by scanning the plate of motorists they stop for violations.

Now, the police in West Yorkshire are looking at adding RIM BlackBerry's to the mix for wireless access to the ANPR database. The enthusiasm of police departments across the UK wishing to access the system has many worried that they will overwhelm the system and require further expansion of capacity.

There is debate over how long to store the travels database and argument over who will have access to travel records of surveilled autos over differing time periods - in order to limit requests to a system overburdened before it has luanched. Hmm. Perhaps private eyes will want access to those records to track wandering spouses, then insurance companies to rate risk to policyholders based on their travels, then taxing authorities to customize tolls and tariffs for individuals, then marketing firms, then auto makers, then roadside vendors ...

It appears that several British motorists have wised up to the Big Brother system and are using a ruse to avoid ticketing for speeding when caught by the roadside cameras and "ANPR" system by using "mass mailing" addresses to register their cars. Many of those photographed speeding through the surveillance system have been seen making obscene gestures to the camera, knowing that their car cannot be traced back to their address.

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posted by RealitySEO at 11:36 AM


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