I have this crazy idea about the role of the police in modern society; my theory is that the primary job of the police is to stop crime before it happens. To deter crime, if you will, through the medium of being a bit respected and being visible.
What I really don’t think they should be doing is using yet more hidden cameras to catch people doing things that shouldn’t really be crimes. Especially when the cops are just using cameras being driven by wannabe vigilantes.
Cars with spy cameras have taken to the streets of Greater Manchester to catch drivers using mobile phones, eating or doing anything illegal at the wheel.
Cameras on the two Smart cars, brainchild of safety group DriveSafe, photograph potential offenders and pass these on to police.
Fantastic. Some random anti-freedom nutjobs are going to be driving round, and spotting things that the police don’t and passing those things on. Of course, to do this, they’ll be recording hundred of thousands of innocent people obeying all the laws. Which provides people with a nice little get out.
See, to run a private CCTV system, the data protection act says that you have to do a few things. You have to declare that video is being taken. You have to let people know who they have to talk to to about it. And you have to be able to provide people with a means to obtain a copy of their appearances on tape.
I really hope that there’s a good few people in Manchester who use their rights under the Data Protection Act to swamp this illegal data mining. And then, once DriveSafe has been shown to be in violation of said act, I hope they sue it to fuck and stop anyone trying anything like that again.
But that’s just me.