ICO slaps TfL over Oyster data hoard
Criticises compulsory kids' photocards
Last month Transport for London made it compulsory for children using the network to carry Oyster photocards. This has raised concerns about the amount of data the company is collecting.
Parents and the Information Commissioner are not pleased with the changes. The ICO is asking TfL why it is collecting so much data on young people, what purpose such data will serve and how long it will be kept for.
The Zip card is compulsory for 11 to 15 year olds and can also be used by some 16 to 18 year olds. Children aged between five and 10 who travel unaccompanied will also need a Zip card.
Transport for London said it needed the information in order to prevent anti-social behaviour.
Rachel Rolfe, a mother who objects to the scheme, told the BBC: "I don't think that children need ID cards, once your information is out there you can never get it back. And I think you can't protect it."
The ICO said it had serious concerns about the scheme and was contacting TfL for clarification.
A spokesman for TfL told The Register: "We take data protection extremely seriously and information is not passed onto third parties except the company which makes the cards. We are happy to discuss this with the ICO." The application process collects the child's name, date of birth, address, school and telephone number.
There are now 413,000 cards in circulation. TfL received 753 complaints about the scheme between 1 and 19 June, mostly to do with lack of awareness rather than data protection concerns.
Of course for the paranoid adult, or the child who doesn't mind paying, you can still get an anonymous Oyster card. ®
@RotaCyclic - Not quite accurate
- "Haven't people noticed that under Livingston there's been a drive to push as many people into taking up Oyster, by making it much cheaper than tickets."
I think it's more accurate to say that they have made cash prices ludicrous, just to make Oyster viable.
Oyster card prices have risen with inflation -- cash ticket prices (for buses) rose 120% in the space of a couple of years (and even more for Tube I think.
Tracking using Oyster
Regarding other comments about being able to be tracked via Oyster...they can certainly do that if they so wish, with the data they record everytime the Oyster card is swiped on entry and exit to the underground.
I would not be at all suprised if the Police and security services have access to this data(without any kind of regulation, consent of the voters): the inland revenue has access to the data collected on Nectar cards used in supermarkets.
Haven't people noticed that under Livingston there's been a drive to push as many people into taking up Oyster, by making it much cheaper than tickets.
TfL want the data that is captured using Oyster!! That's what it's about. What we don't know is just who else has access to this data and how it is being used.
We need much more transparency and honesty.
@travelling two stops
Do not see why they should get free bus travel 24/7 anyway. Give it to them to get to and from school (say 7am till 5pm). "
Ok, I know I'm just a dumb merkin here, but when my kids are in school,
they're there from morning to afternoon and nowhere in between. Why would the local delights need free bus from morning to night if they only ride TO school in the morning and FROM school at night? What am I missing here?