UK police to map all citizen's car journeys and save data for five years
Th UK is already the world's most spied on by state and private CCTV cameras. Now the UK police are using the technology to map all citizens' car journeys and keep the data on record for five years. This is surveillance of a kind not even seen in the former Soviet and many are uneasy about it although others feel it will be a powerful tool in cutting down crime.
Police plan to map all journeys made by drivers on major roads and store the data for five years.
A national network of roadside cameras will be able to read 50 million number plates each day enabling officers to reconstruct the movements of motorists.
The project relies on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which pinpoint the time and location of all vehicles on the road.
Police originally said they only wanted the information for two years but were forced to admit the five year plan following a Freedom of Information Act inquiry.
It revealed the database will be able to store as many as 18 billion license plates by 2009.
Thousands of CCTV cameras have been converted to read ANPR data while mobile cameras have been installed in patrol cars and unmarked vehicles at the sides of roads.
Simon Davies from Privacy International said the database would give police "extraordinary powers of surveillance."