The Guardian reports on concerns about camera surveillance systems in Britain and the UK:
Three civil liberties groups have complained to the information commissioner about police plans to install ANPR cameras around Royston in Hertfordshire, claiming they are unlawful.
No CCTV, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch say that they fear the project might foreshadow similar work across the country. “The use of ANPR by the police in the UK has not been as the result of any Parliamentary debate, Act of Parliament or even a Statutory Instrument,” they say in their complaint. The government is proposing a code of conduct on the use of ANPR, but the complaint says this would not be legally enforceable.
Among other points, the groups argue that ANPR data is kept for too long, noting that police in Toronto only retain such information for 72 hours. It quotes a document from Hertfordshire police saying that images of vehicles are kept for 90 days with other data, including the numberplates, retained for two years. This increases to five years if the vehicle is on a watch list. […]
Large cities including central London, Birmingham and Manchester already have ANPR ‘rings of steel’ which record the numberplates and images of all vehicles entering and leaving a zone. There were 4,225 such cameras throughout England and Wales connected to the National ANPR Database in early January, according to figures published through Parliament.