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Oxford City Council Mandates CCTV Cameras In Taxies by 2015

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-have-nothing-to-hide-winston dept.

United Kingdom 235

First time accepted submitter Beowulf878 writes "In yet another data-collection feast by the government in the UK, a local council has proposed fitting at least one CCTV camera per taxi to record every conversation. Obviously the reason given is our own safety. Thoughts?"

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235 comments

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Well, I have one.... (5, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056350)

Obviously we can't have a discussion without the summary all but telling us how we're supposed to react.

Thoughts?

Re:Well, I have one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056516)

Agree, also this stuff is not supposed to be for the safety of the people IN the taxi but for the people outside of it.

Re:Well, I have one.... (2)

CodeReign (2426810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056524)

Honestly I'd be okay with it if it were stored in some datacenter without any realtime measures and if it is video only.

This would provide a deterrent from crime as the ability to be apprehended is higher but would keep the matter of privacy relatively low.

Re:Well, I have one.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056608)

Why bother having any privacy at all? They already put CCD cameras into homes of families that are "difficult" [ to control ] in the UK. We should implement a no-camera policy in law that stipulates cameras for security purposes to be removed. This means places like convenience stores and road cameras any other similar camera that could or might be used after a crime has been committed. We have more technology to catch criminals today and little if any privacy remaining. It was once assumed if no people were around you could have a private conversation. This is no longer true. At the same time we are hyper sensitive to stuff that should be nothing more than a minor "inconvenience" so be it a lot of crying. Not all crime involves violence and is of the same significance. However we have forced criminals to be violent due to the insanity of the laws. It is better to kill now now... then you might not face the consequences of your actions. Before the consequences were significant although not enough to put you as a criminal in a position to need to kill.

Re:Well, I have one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056612)

Don't know about you but if I walk for 3 miles I'm 3 miles from the nearest electronics of any sort.

Re:Well, I have one.... (2, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056872)

I live in London. I cannot walk three miles and be out of range of a TV camera once I leave my home. I am not sure what I am safe from.

My previous house was on a street known as "the Murder Mile" - it was fhe scene of two well known incidents: one in which one policeman shot another, and the other in which a policeman shot a man carying a table leg, in the mistaken belief it was a shotgun.

A lot of people round here believe the police are every bit as dangerous as the drug dealers, hence the rioting.

Re:Well, I have one.... (4, Informative)

Builder (103701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057472)

The rioting had nothing to do with the fact that the police are dangerous. The rioting had everything to do with the fact that criminal scum wanted free stuff.

75% of the people arrested as part of the riots so far had previous convictions. Around 20% had more than 10 previous convictions. These were not law abiding citizens fighting the man.

Re:Well, I have one.... (3, Funny)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056550)

I for one support our omnipotent taxi monitoring overlords.

Re:Well, I have one.... (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Well, I have one.... (3, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056772)

And without any indication on how the video is used. Who stores the video, and how? How long is it stored? Watched on random basis or in case of reported problems only? So many unknowns here, hard to give an opinion on it.

But well who needs to know the answer to those basic questions anyway.

Re:Well, I have one.... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056888)

Monitoring will probably end up subcontracted to Youtube -

cos its cheapest!

Re:Well, I have one.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056776)

It's all a bunch of left-wing FUD. Lets' face it, children are sometimes put in the position where they would need to take a taxi, and in that case we need cameras there to protect them against pedophile cab drivers. That way the police can confiscate the videos of child pornography and put them in there massive collection of confiscated porn.

Most people on Slashdot always seem to neglect to think of the children when it comes to issues of warrantless surveillance. A city is a public place, and because of this there should be no expectation of privacy if you live in a city that has taxi cabs.

Re:Well, I have one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057298)

This is another example of Slashdot posters and editors that have:

- Read 1984 and decided that this is how they will view the entire world
- Been a member of anonymous or otherwise believe in vigilantism more than the system of government.
- Decided that when things are being done for either their safety or a proprietor's safety, if it is a government mandate it is inherently evil.

On the paranoid insanity level I would put this Slashdot story at 0.6 Stallmans.

Firearms Rights (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056356)

bet you're missing them now, aren't you.

Re:Firearms Rights (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056720)

It's not like you Americans are any better off, with your firearms rights. I've yet to hear of a single firearm being turned on a police officer who's assaulting a citizen who has offered no resistance at all, during the Occupy protests.

Re:Firearms Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057458)

Also, if the someone says they are introducing cameras (The City of Houston already has them) who are you going to shoot? The cab driver or the official?

The only safety a government cares about . . . (5, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056362)

is its own.

Re:The only safety a government cares about . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056646)

...and that of its solvent associates?
--
AC

Re:The only safety a government cares about . . . (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056676)

Solvent isn't quite the word that comes to mind when thinking about banks...

How many taxi drivers are robbed? (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056370)

In a society where crime isn't really "punished", the only other deterrent must be a police state where there is no sanctuary.

As societies must include anyone who wants to do anything they like and must admit anyone from anywhere regardless of their culture, keeping order becomes more challenging because the only alternative to (vanishing) SELF-discipline is IMPOSED discipline.

This sucks, but is better than the Clockwork Orange world of no order at all.

Re:How many taxi drivers are robbed? (4, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056844)

I prefer to take a page from socialism, and a page from libertarianism, and create a new book that works better than either one alone. Nothing in your personal life affects me, so I should have no say over it. I don't care who you marry, have sex with, what you put in your body or if you end your life. But your economic life effects me and everyone else in this society, so it should be partially regulated. With the right balance, and the a healthy amount of vigilance by the populace, this system can work. It's worked in the past, it works now, it can work for our future.

Re:How many taxi drivers are robbed? (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057086)

A society where crime is "punished" is already sadistic and anti-science.

Punishment doesn't work, and no amount of sad, old men whining about how they're better off because their parents used to beat them is going to change our nature.

Loss of freedom for criminals definitely stops them (temporarily) from causing further harm, during which time they may or may not respond to efforts at rehabilitation.

And reward sometimes works. Though much less than the feudalists disguising themselves as capitalists would have you believe.

Nor is there any evidence that punishment works. There may be edge cases for which it has an effect, e.g. on psychopaths who really have no notion of social existence. But for a society, punishment does not work.

The only reason you don't rape and murder is because you'd be punished if you did, right?

Re:How many taxi drivers are robbed? (4, Funny)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057494)

The only reason you don't rape and murder is because you'd be punished if you did, right?

Definitely. As I've played many violent video games, I already have the mentality of a murderer. The only thing that is keeping me from murdering people indiscriminately is my fear of being punished!

haha brits are treated like children (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056374)

don't mind me, USA, just being the last free country on Gods greens earth.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (2)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056432)

Are you living is the same world as I am? USA being a Free country??

Re:this guy^ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056514)

Are you living is the same world as I am? USA being a Free country??

We are a free country. Just free your mind of all the crap you're choosing to listen to.

As for these cab cameras, the only thing I can see harmful is that it records audio. If you're being robbed, raped, murdered, whatever, I think the visual is more than enough to prove someone's guilt.

Then again, with the insane leaps in video editing technology, one would have to work double hard to manipulate voice waves.

Re:this guy^ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056760)

We have a lot of muslims in the UK. In a survey 5% said they support violent actopn against the state. Thats about 100,000 people who want to kill us. Now I would rather the cameras and tapes only be turned on when Muzzies are in the cab, but realistically if you count the driver thats 90% of the time anyway.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (4, Informative)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056434)

Every cab/limo in NYC has a camera in it.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056436)

>>don't mind me, USA, just being the last free country on Gods greens earth.

LOL. At least we here in the states don't pretend all the cameras are for public security - they're for monetizing red lights. Oops, I mean, "improving traffic safety" (even though they don't).

Re:haha brits are treated like children (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056498)

So this is one city in the UK as compared to -

The whole of Australia already has this.
As does New Zealand
As do Toronto and Winnipeg
NYC requirees either a camera or a partition.
Yellow Cabs in houston also have them.

This is to stop cab drivers getting robbed and murdered, not to spy on who is going where.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (0)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056552)

Yes, just like how they have to monitor your phone calls and emails to stop people from being robbed and murdered, not to spy on you and abduct people who disagree with them - they'd NEVER do that.....

Re:haha brits are treated like children (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056628)

That appears to be more of an American problem than British, AFAICT.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057512)

Seems to be nearly the same thing there. The only difference is that they used a different excuse (we're currently using terrorism as an excuse). "Some people might get robbed. Therefore, these cameras are necessary!"

Re:haha brits are treated like children (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057010)

But they don't need these in Britain. Guns are illegal, so criminals don't have guns. Knives are damn near impossible to own too. And assault is illegal as well. The drivers are perfectly safe; I'm surprised they even bother putting locks on the door.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057296)

Guns are illegal

False.

criminals don't have guns

Mostly true, despite your sarcasm.

Knives are damn near impossible to own too.

False.

And assault is illegal as well. The drivers are perfectly safe; I'm surprised they even bother putting locks on the door.

Yup, just like everyone in the US is armed, so nobody ever gets shot, right? And armed society is a polite society, right?

No need to lock your door in the USA....

Re:haha brits are treated like children (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057424)

I live close to Oxford; the next large town over; population 120,000.

There was a girl murdered in a taxi a few months back. Unheard of in this area. The taxi driver admitted to one other murder too.

It shocked everyone here. Scared all us parents shitless. I'd even met him ten years back.

A week after the murder, all taxis SMS you the car licence plate number, colour of the car and make as the taxi arrives.

CCTV seems like the next step. I welcome it.

Re:haha brits are treated like children (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057190)

I took a taxi a few months ago, from Seattle airport. It had a camera inside, pointing at me (and the driver), and a small note saying that everything's recorded "for safety".

Enjoy your imaginary freedom.

Had them for a while... (4, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056378)

Here in Ottawa, we've had cameras in taxis for a while. I have no idea if anything has come of it, other than the added expense for each taxi owner of a possibly useless camera. Seems to me like the camera supplier is in bed with the city councillor...

Re:Had them for a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056400)

Here in Ottawa, we've had cameras in taxis for a while. I have no idea if anything has come of it, other than the added expense for each taxi owner of a possibly useless camera. Seems to me like the camera supplier is in bed with the city councillor...

this

Re:Had them for a while... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056428)

...Seems to me like the camera supplier is in bed with the city councillor...

Was there a camera? Do you have that on video?

Yes she is in bed with the councilor (2)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056518)

And they are making a video... or someone is.

Re:Had them for a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056810)

Same here in Vancouver. Buses as well, for the driver's safety.

Old News (4, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056398)

Porn companies have been doing this for years.

Re:Old News (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056648)

And we have a patent on it. Oxford, prepare to pay license fee!

Sydney taxis (5, Informative)

Captain Sensible (141639) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056404)

CCTV cameras have been fitted to taxis in Sydney for several years now at the request of the drivers. The hope is that this deters robberies. Does it work? I have never seen any figures - does anyone else know? They have also been fitted in State Transit buses with newer buses having a least three. In this case while it does not deter theft or assault it does lead to convictions. Also some entertaining reality TV on the news each night.

Re:Sydney taxis (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056492)

There's cameras on the buses and trains as well in Sydney. Cameras in taxi cabs are common in many countries.

Public transport attracts vandalism, theft, and other petty crimes, I'm sure the cameras help keep crime rates down. Cameras protect cabbies from abusive or criminal passengers, and passengers are protected against the same from the cab drivers. There have been incidents of sexual assault of young drunk girls by drivers, I'm sure they'd be less likely to try that sort of thing if there's a camera on board. Even if they can turn it off, that alone would be enough evidence of intent of wrongdoing for a conviction.

It's not like anybody is proposing that private vehicles will have cameras.

What's everyone getting so upset about?

Re:Sydney taxis (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056548)

You need some kind of safety device, which can be a camera, and/or some kind of plastic armour around the driver's seat. I can see why some drivers go for the cameras.

Re:Sydney taxis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056626)

Vancouver, BC taxis transmit to police already. I'm guessing they do facial recognition to identify bad dudes who can't yet afford a Hummer.

Re:Sydney taxis (4, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056758)

A Danish security firm says that attempted robberies went down by 80 % after they put stickers saying "taxi under camera surveillance" on cars belonging to Copenhagen taxi. Actual cameras were not allowed in taxis in Denmark at the time.

Re:Sydney taxis (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057050)

Most of the problems with taxi passengers are because they are drunk, so it seems unlikely that merely having a CCTV camera will prevent that sort of thing from happening. More generally CCTV does not really prevent crime; at best it displaces it but the chance of being caught or punished harshly is rarely a factor when someone decides to commit a crime.

Re:Sydney taxis (1)

thephydes (727739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057492)

They are in Brisbane cabs as well. As a consumer rather than a driver, I am much happier that the cctv's are in the cabs - perhaps that's because I'm basically a law abiding citizen rather than a mindless drunken fuckwit.

Here's a thought: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056426)

It's none of their damn business.

Seriously, this sounds like a fishing expedition for footage of drunk couples groping each other in the back seat.

Just say no.

Taxies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056430)

Spelling mistake in the title .... good editing job slashdot

Re:Taxies (1)

PowerCyclist (2058868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056470)

Well you get what you paid for.... Oh that's right, you didn't pay the editors anything.

Re:Taxies (2)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056576)

Well you get what you paid for.... Oh that's right, you didn't pay the editors anything.

So I'm not a "Bash the editors" type at all. But . . . I certainly do pay the editors, if indirectly. This is a for-profit site. They monetize the time I spend here, the clicks on the ads etc. (And I don't ever turn off ads on slashdot just on principle to allow them to monetize me more successfully.) That said, they probably only get fractional pennies off me, so if they gave me a penny for my thoughts they're probably overpaying, which is why I feel obliged to provide my thoughts for free.

Re:Taxies (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056756)

Well you get what you paid for.... Oh that's right, you didn't pay the editors anything.

I'm pretty sure all three of /.'s paid subscribers would beg to differ.

Re:Taxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056802)

ur dum lol

Another spinoff (0)

PowerCyclist (2058868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056446)

Taxicab Confessions: Oxford Edition

Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056456)

"The Final Cut" will finally become a reality.

Seriously...if they have the power they would mandate every citizen to install one in their head because "only view footage relating to police matters would be reviewed."

Public Areas (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056496)

We've been conditioned that the only time you can expect any privacy is inside your own home. And then, only to the extent that you can't happen to be observed through your windows. Or have GPS attached to your car in your home. Or via your telephones, computers, television usage, or other devices. Basically, in the rooms where you have no windows, doors, internet access, or telephones, you are afforded privacy. For everything else, it's "hey, you have no expectation of privacy in public places!". Of course, there's a difference between "expectation of privacy" and "expectation to not be listened in on, videotaped, indexed, and archived". I may be in a public space with, say, my sweetheart and still expect that my conversation (or that in a cab) stays with us and isn't being recorded or eavesdropped on.

Already used often (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056532)

Lots of taxi companies use cameras in cabs, mainly for detecting driver errors, like not wearing seatbelts, or sudden stops or other "violent" movements. They are sometimes still cameras, but can also be video cameras, though they are usually off until something trips them.The driver can also trip them in emergency situations, like if he's being held up.

Adding them in an "always on" mode is kinda invasive, but as long as they are well-identified both inside and outside the cab, so you know beforehand what you're getting into when you get into the cab, I don't think it's a huge issue.

Surprised politicians would go for this... (3, Interesting)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056536)

I'm from Blackpool and, back in the day, both main parties used to have their conferences here every other year. My parents operated a taxi so they always overheard lots of gossip from the MPs they were ferrying around.

Having the goings on in the back of a taxi being recorded by default would be staggering. No politician or business person could so much as have a phone conversation under those circumstances! I bet every pissant local government hack in Oxford will be trying to justify having a private driver, paid for by the council, when this comes into force.

Wow (4, Insightful)

TennCasey (1667347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056556)

It never ceases to amaze me just how accurate George Orwell was about where England was going.

Re:Wow (2)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056778)

Everyday the world seems more like a case of life imitating fiction. Only one problem; we're just missing the Boomers from Bubblegum Crisis/Crash.

We already have them in New Zealand (1)

ukoda (537183) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056570)

I'm not a fan of CCTV being over used but as it isn't normally available for access when used in a taxi the abuse potential is pretty small. We haven't had them long but they have already caught one scumbag http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764246 [nzherald.co.nz] on video. Used in this limited fashion I support their use.

Protects Taxi Drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056582)

already used in Australia to catch fare evaders and people who assault and KILL taxi drivers. It's no different to a CCTV in any store.

Fitted in New Zealand since August (4, Informative)

flibbajobber (949499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056592)

They've been compulsorily fitted to taxis in New Zealand since August. Taxi companies fitted them at their own expense. Drivers are saying they feel safer, and the industry is claiming the amount of abuse against drivers have dropped and the cameras have directly led to arrests, including for several very serious incidents. Despite the camera systems costing upwards of $1000 per vehicle, the drivers are saying it's money well-spent.

So please ignore the cynicism of the Slashdot submitter & editor - they evidently do improve driver safety.

Re:Fitted in New Zealand since August (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057000)

If you wanted to protect taxi drivers, you would only retain the last hour of footage, and give the driver a button to stop the recording process and prevent the recording from being overwritten. That gives the taxi driver a lot of protection, but stops the council retrospectively spying on its own citizens.

NYC Taxis (1)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056594)

What, you don't think there are cameras in taxis in the US?

4. Profit (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056598)

Fine by me as long as they sell the porn scenes on the open market.

(Of course, the drivers will have to play 70s hump music on the radio.)

I've got nothing to hide (2)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056638)

When someone says to you "I've got nothing to hide", ask them if they would be happy with the government putting a webcam in every room in their house. After all they have nothing to hide. Even the bedroom? Yes, the bedroom. Otherwise terrorists would just plot in their bedrooms. If they baulk, remind them of 911.

Of course if they are on Facebook they might say "Kewl! Can I stream it from my Homepage? [share]"

ZUCOTTI PARK GETTING RAIDED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056644)

The NYPD has one of those "sound cannon" vehicles that emit ear splitting noise! Tune in to the live stream to watch Americas Tiananmen square!

http://www.livestream.com/occupynyc

Experience (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056658)

I bet one of the driving factors for making cameras mandatory are the drivers who want the camera and the car owners, who don't drive themselves, who do not want to spend the money on them. I drove taxi for seven years and would have welcomed a camera and panic button. The fact that this equipment exists will deter crime against cab drivers. Most of these posts have concentrated on rates of robbery. There are other crime against taxi drivers including assault, kidnapping and murder. The fact that one can no longer have a private conversation in a cab must be weighted against the right of a cab driver not to be killed.

The privacy aspect is moot in that a cab is not a private place in which to have a private conversation. It is the mobile workplace of a vulnerable driver who has to drive stranger around. The driver is not allowed to pick his fares or destination and has no backup in the event he is attacked. Would you advocate removing CCTV cameras from convenience stores? In some cities cabs are treated like mobile ATMs where one uses a knife instead of a card.

I live in Victoria BC and all the cabs have CCTV cameras in them and stickers on the side warning of that fact.

When will Britain get a charter of rights? (4, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056666)

The British don't have anything to protect them from their Government, I guess because their Government was set up to protect them from their King.

In Finland a taxi driver was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056700)

imprisoned in 2009 for a rape and murder of a woman in a taxi, bc he did not realize there was a CCTV camera installed in the car.

Fairly common in Japan (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056712)

Taxi companies started installing them to help stave off a wave of robberies. Basically, a taxi driver at night is a lone guy with a wad of cash, who has to pick any company that waves a hand to them. Some people thought that was an easy wad of cash, and invented a couple of tricks to rob taxi drivers. After a rather large number of robberies that ended with anything from verbal assault to one or two murders, the companies began lobbying for cameras to protect the drivers. While there are obvious privacy issues, the issues of safety of the drivers seem quite legitimate.

Re:Fairly common in Japan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056842)

You forgot to mention the random bukkakes cab drivers had to endure.

If they were willing, it became a gokkun.

Re:Fairly common in Japan (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056974)

Idiot.

Re:Fairly common in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057502)

O cum now. I visit Tokyo fairly often, and after a certain time of day, this is a fairly common occurrence.

video AND audio recording (1)

martin (1336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056726)

I live just a few miles north of Oxford and whats more worrying to most is the fact that the camera will also record audio which seems to be a major shift in whats going to be held and who is will be accessible by.

Student discussions is one thing, but if conversations containing commercial or political (local or national) nature is being recorded inadvertantly and help who can get at this stuff - newpapers won't need to 'hack' voicemails anymore just give the taxi drivers a few quid!

I hope along with the cameras there are BIG signs reminding you that you are being recorded for video AND audio.

Yes there are (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056750)

And if you are discussing secrets in a cab... then what about the cabby overhearing smartass? Or are cabbies in your world deaf dumb and blind like you?

Here is a hint, if you got secrets, don't discuss them in other peoples places.

Re:Yes there are (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056836)

This is not about secrets. It's about opinions that those with access to the footage might not like. Effectively you cannot voice any controversial thoughts anywhere, because you are always under surveillance. You always have to watch what you say because someone somewhere is recording and archiving it.

stop taking taxis (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056742)

we've got people protesting that bankers make too much money. those very same protesters have never counted just how much of their own money they've paid to those same bankers.

if you don't want to be on camera, stop going to the cameras.

yeah, you'll lose the benefits of those services. of course. welcome to making choices. if it's important to you, you'll make it appropriately.

so stop complaining. start noticing that you've chosen to take the taxi with the camera. you've chosen to take the subway with the camera. you've chosen to purchase the car with the limiter. you could have walked, you could have cycled, and you coudl have built your own car.

make decisions; actively.

Re:stop taking taxis (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056796)

we've got people protesting that bankers make too much money. those very same protesters have never counted just how much of their own money they've paid to those same bankers.

if you don't want to be on camera, stop going to the cameras.

yeah, you'll lose the benefits of those services. of course. welcome to making choices. if it's important to you, you'll make it appropriately.

so stop complaining. start noticing that you've chosen to take the taxi with the camera. you've chosen to take the subway with the camera. you've chosen to purchase the car with the limiter. you could have walked, you could have cycled, and you coudl have built your own car.

make decisions; actively.

I hope this is sarcasm.

There are thousands of cameras in public spaces to monitor pedestrians and cyclists in London. If you don't want to be recorded on CCTV, you have to make the choice to never go outside again.

Re:stop taking taxis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057094)

There are thousands of cameras in public spaces to monitor pedestrians and cyclists in London. If you don't want to be recorded on CCTV, you have to make the choice to never go outside again.

Or, a choice to move out of London and never return again.

Re:stop taking taxis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056902)

If you want to avoid being monitored constantly, the only choice you have left, is to lock yourself in your basement. All transportation is monitored (on foot, car, train, taxi, bus, etc.).

Have them in Ottawa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056780)

This is not a new idea. It has been done in many other parts of the world for quite some time.

Why is this even a slashdot post?

Not new... (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056798)

Taxis in Finland have had them for years now, this is nothing new. As far as I am aware, the cameras record video only and are used to deter crime.

Not only video (1)

Cybertect (85900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057444)

That's as may be in Helsinki for video surveillance. We've become rather accustomed to that in the UK.

The line that's being crossed here (not particularly well highlighted in the summary) is that they will be making *audio* recordings of the interior of the taxi too.

It's not the cameras you need to worry about... (1)

Raved Thrad (1864414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38056812)

After all, they're just there to distract you from the telescreens that have always been there. Big Brother Is Watching You!

where in the world is the subject? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056882)

what could they possibly learn from all those conversations?
ah, wait, use a computer for that and (sarcasm) then it'll be much safer...

I read the article and... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056884)

...points some people seem to be missing are:

* An ICO spokeswoman said the plans were "highly intrusive and unlikely to be justified".
* A council spokeswoman said the "video and *audio* would run all the time within the vehicle".
* ...the scheme, which includes both black cabs and private-hire vehicles.

So, it's likely that there will be a complaint from a civil liberties group to the Information Commissioner's Office, and the ICO is already regarding the plans as intrusive and unlikely to be justifiable. The plan is to include audio - which is unlike schemes in other towns and countries, which use video only. The scheme extends to black cabs, which have always (well, as long as I can remember...) partitioned the driver from the passenger(s).

This is a Slashdot post because this *is* a new idea, quite unlike CCTV in taxis in other parts of the world. It raises the bar for intrusive surveillance. It's likely that even the CCTV-friendly UK state is going to oppose the scheme.

FUCK the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056890)

Citizens should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of citizens.

That requires a functioning police to begin with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056934)

There's a famous taxi driver murder case in Israel - two teenagers have shot the driver six times, and the taxi driver died on the spot.

The teenagers were caught, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. They got a vacation (I have no idea why prisoners may have vacations, but that's the way things are), and used it to rob a grocery store, for which they've got 5 additional years in prison.

One of them used another vacation (approved by the supreme court, in face of the prison system's protests), and used a fake passport to escape to Argentine, which has no extradition treat with Israel. He lives there as a free man - has a job, wife, and kids.

Thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38056944)

LOL!

Who made you think you were allowed to think for yourself?

The Cab Drivers Don't Want It, Nor Do We..... (3, Informative)

Sylvanus (213197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057020)

I live in Oxford and the cab drivers hate this idea. It's going to cost them at least £460 each at time when most of them are struggling to survive. They're also convinced its about snooping on them and have all raised privacy concerns. The council has refused to say who will have access to the tapes or what protections there will be.

Most Oxford cab drivers are Asian and few can afford to live in Oxford itself and so drive in from surrounding towns. There are hordes of them demonstrating at the town hall before every council meeting but the councillors don't seem to care - whether their lack of local vote is causing that or not, I don't know. Every cab driver I've spoken to believes someone in the council is 'receiving inducements' for this - no idea if its true!

Oxford City Council is hardcore Labour / militant and seems to regard large sections of the public as the enemy. Its elected by a bunch of leftist academics who have little idea or connection about the real world. Remember it was the last Labour government that tried to introduce ID cards, 90 days detention without charge and seems to have been complicit in torture. CCTV in taxis seems like a logical development!

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/archive/2011/11/14/Oxford+news+(om_oxfordnews)/9361537.Taxi_CCTV_breaks__rights_to_privacy_/ [oxfordmail.co.uk]

This would be nice in Portugal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057070)

This would be nice in Portugal, we get lots of violence and robberies in our TAXI's, this would be a great way to defend the customer.
Yes it's the other way around here, the customer's the victim!

Wish we had these cameras for some time here, I could have gotten quite a few taxi drivers fired and even arrested for the crap they do to customers.

Taxies? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057108)

I wasn't aware that the singular was "taxy".

What does this prevent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38057432)

Once everyone knows that the taxis have cameras (and I don't condone doing it or doing it covertly), who would bother discussing incriminating things in a taxi then? Who does it now anyway? Sure, no more sex talk with your mistress coz your wife might find out - especially in cases where you are a public figure of sorts - since ppl care in those cases. But beyond that, would a terrorist discuss plans in a taxi? Even if the taxi driver was one of them, he'd just disable the camera anyway. So, all this does is invade your privacy. Whether or not being in a taxi is considered private is a semantic discussion for lawyers - doesn't achieve anything real.

We're doing the same in Norway (2)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38057508)

But there it's the taxi drivers that are getting tired of being accused of rape, and not the government. Actually, they're arguing against it.
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