After successfully challenging audio-CCTV in Oxford and Southampton, it has come to our attention that Doncaster is also pursuing audio recording in taxis.
Always-on audio recording means recording every minute of every conversation of every passenger. It is a disproportionate and intrusive policy that goes against data protection law and does little to address to the underlying threats to driver safety.
Needless to say we’ll be contacting Doncaster Council and the Information Commissioner about the scheme.
Taxi drivers should not be forced to install surveillance equipment in their cabs. Voluntary schemes and panic button systems would offer a solution to those drivers who feel their safety is at risk without forcing every cab to record passengers.
The ICO has published a CCTV Code of Practice to help local authorities and other organisations using CCTV to stay within the law. Sadly it seems an increasing number of local authorities are happy to disregard this as they pursue over-zealous surveillance policies.