Feeds

OSC spurns queries on London charge zone data export

'Not appropriate to answer your questions...'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Pictures of cars and number plates from London's congestion charge zone, even outside of its operating hours, can now be exported wholesale to the US authorities, it was claimed yesterday - but regulators refuse to answer questions about it.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced last July that the Metropolitan Police would be given bulk data from the Transport for London system. Shortly before this, however, she signed a "special certificate" which allowed this data to be passed from the police to other groups outside Europe. As this permission was effectively concealed in the earlier certificate, she is now being accused of concealing the move from Parliament.

UK Police are exempted from data protection laws when investigating suspect vehicles, but this gives them access to data on millions of routine vehicle journeys.

Function creep - where systems set up for one purpose such as regulating traffic or reducing air pollution in central London, become a law and order resource without further debate or scrutiny - is one of the main concerns of privacy groups.

The attitude of the regulators - the Office of Surveillance Commissioners - is revealed in an email exchange between SpyBlog and Chief Surveillance Commissioner Sir Christopher Rose.

The regulator was asked for his view on the original function creep - the mass data transfer from Transport for London systems to the Met Police announced last year. The Home Office exempted this action from the Data Protection Act and SpyBlog wanted to know why.

The reply thanks SpyBlog for its letter and says: "He notes your interest in these matters but does not think it appropriate to answer your questions.

"I am sorry I cannot be more helpful." As the blog notes, so much for independent scrutiny...

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.