Big Brother taxis coming to Oxford
British civil liberties activists describe the installation of CCTV systems in Oxford cabs as a "staggering invasion of privacy".
Brand new surveillance systems are being fitted in all taxis in the city of Oxford, to record the video and audio of passengers regardless of protests by civil liberties activists.
Oxford City Council has announced that it will be mandatory for all of the city's 600 cabs to be outfitted with CCTV systems to record passengers by April 2015, state-funded BBC news network reported.
The council said that the recordings will run continuously, and the encrypted footage will be stored for 28 days.
The footage is said to remain unviewed unless an incident is reported by a taxi passenger or driver, after which it will be turned over to the police.
Meanwhile, civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has called the plan "a staggering invasion of privacy" and intends to complain to Britain's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) over the scheme.
"Given that one rail route to Witney [David Cameron's constituency] is through Oxford, we'll be letting the prime minister know that his staff might want to avoid using Oxford cabs," Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles said.
An ICO spokeswoman also said the plans were "highly intrusive and unlikely to be justified".
She added, "Licensing authorities must take account of people's right to privacy when deciding whether to impose CCTV as a license condition for taxi drivers."