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You'll never guess who I had in my cab the other day ...


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Another knife into our Civil Liberties ?

A plan to record all conversations in taxis licensed by a city council has been unveiled - sparking complaints the scheme is a "staggering invasion of privacy".

Oxford City Council wants to ensure all of its 600-plus cabs are fitted with at least one CCTV camera to record every word uttered by passengers.

If the plans are approved, all conversations in taxis will be recorded from once the engine is running until 30 minutes after the ignition is switched off.

But civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has hit out at the proposals and pledged to complain to the Information Commissioner.

Nick Pickles, the group's director, said: "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.

"Given that one rail route to Witney is through Oxford, we'll be letting the Prime Minister know that his staff might want to avoid using Oxford cabs."

A spokeswoman for Oxford City Council said the new CCTV rules for taxis "would mean that video and audio would run all the time within the vehicle".

"There are laws in place (data protection, human rights, CCTV code of practice) that require the viewing of such images to be necessary and proportionate, and therefore must relate to a specific complaint/incident/investigation," she said.

"The officers are not permitted to view any images that do not relate to the actual matter being investigated.

"The risk of intrusion into private conversations has to be balanced against the interests of public safety, both of passengers and drivers."

She added clear notices would inform passengers they were being recorded and that the recordings will be encrypted and only accessible in the event of an investigation.

The cost of installing the CCTV system with one camera is around £400 and there are currently 107 black cabs and 545 private hire vehicles in the city.

Evil since 2009 Murdoch Empire

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I dunno, I don't have a problem with recording video, happens everywhere anyway, just the audio side is a big iffy.

On one hand, I've had some **** up conversations in taxis.

On the other, private property so I guess they can do what they like... I've got a security camera on my house that records audio outside, so I can't really complain too much about other people recording me I guess.

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From a day job P.O.V. this would be a godsend, soon sort out if it was the customer or the driver telling the truth (and it is very hard to tell sometimes) but as a driver it wouldn't bother me too much as I'm monitored all the way in work and am used to watching what I say on a professional basis and as soon as the knobheads knew it was there, it would stop a lot of crime against taxi drivers BUT I think the police would be in our office every two minutes, with their DPA forms, they are bad enough now and we can't help them that much as we deliberately don't record destinations.

It'd get installed for one reason and used mainly for an entirey different reason.

Massive civil liberties no from me

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OT, but a friend of mine fell asleep in a taxi recently and ended up €70 further away from his destination, despite having told the taxi driver where he was going. The driver put the child locks on when he woke up and said he couldn't pay that money. He started to drive him to the police station. My friend called the guards and told them he was being held against his will. Police not interested, but the driver opened the doors at this point. My friend got out and made a dash into a park escaping after the driver had rung up a bill of €150.

This is the second time a friend of mine has had to run out on a taxi fare after falling asleep and the driver just continuing to drive past the agreed destination. Another story was that a guy ran out on a fare, the driver made chase, caught him, beat the shit out him, put him back in the car and drove him back into town calling his taxi driver friend telling him to meet him so they can beat further shit out of him. The guy starts to try to kick out the windows. He kicks and kicks eventually breaking through. Right in front of a garda car. They arrested the driver and I'm guessing he got put to jail.

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Where I live in Perth, Australia most taxi have video. Tehy generally use to catch taxi drivers touching up or propositioning young ladies on the offer of a free cab ride. They are charging one a week on average at the moment?

If it is used to stop abuse, attacks and threatening behavior then I don't see the problem?

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