June 07, 2007

NYC Mayor Pushing for London Style Vehicle Tracking

Greetings. Get ready New Yorkers, his honor Mayor Bloomberg is pushing ahead to impose London style "congestion pricing" for Manhattan, with the approving nod of the feds.

Such a system, which has already helped to turn London into the "Big Brother" capital of the western world, entails placing hundreds of cameras to read vehicle license plates as they enter the "designated" areas of the city. Vehicle owners are then charged for the privilege of driving in those locales.

Of course, such a system is also dandy for building and maintaining a massive database of driver activities for a range of other purposes. This is likely (regardless of any claims of data privacy) to become fodder for all manner of officials and clever attorneys -- just as "FasTrak" toll data in the San Francisco Bay Area already has. But with the NYC system, you won't have any way to "pay cash" and avoid being tracked.

If New York City proceeds with this plan, you can bet that other U.S. communities will consider following suite as quickly as they can pour concrete for the camera mounts.

This is the kind of invasive technology -- with massive "data creep" potential -- that privacy-conscious people should really be concerned about today, not services like Google's existing Street View application.

It's time to get our priorities straight, folks.


Posted by Lauren at June 7, 2007 10:22 PM | Permalink
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