European Data Protection Digest

Oxford Taxis To Record Audio, ICO Responds

SURVEILLANCE—UK

November 18, 2011

The Oxford City Council is backing a decision to require CCTV cameras in the city's taxis to record all conversations while the information commissioner and privacy advocates are calling it a violation of privacy. The council says audio recording is critical for public safety and that the recordings would not be used unless needed in a specific crime or licensing issue, The Oxford Times reports. But Information Commissioner Christopher Graham says, "CCTV must not be used to record conversations between members of the public as this is highly intrusive." His office recommends solutions such as a system where audio recording is triggered by excessive noise or a panic button.
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