The British police are going to expand their car surveillance operation that eventually will allow them to record and store details dealing with millions of daily journeys people make and maintain this information in their records for up to five years. A national network of roadside cameras will enable them to “read” up to 50 million license plates daily which would allow the police to reconstruct the daily travel of an individual. The project will result in being able to pinpoint the precise time and location of all vehicles on the road. Thousands of CCTV cameras across the country have been converted to read this data and capture the movement of people during the course of one’s daily movements. Police helicopters now have infra red cameras which can read the license plate of a car from 2,000 feet in the air.
The director of Privacy International, Simon Davies, noted this data base provides British police with “extraordinary powers of surveillance” that no other democratic nation has given members of its police forces.
Of course, the police insist the data base will only be used for the purpose of good. We have heard that claim by governments such as the one run by George Bush.