On Monday, the local London metro newspaper had an amazing headline .. CCTV cameras to be fitted in taxis as ‘Big Brother’ tapes cab conversations
Apparently, in a staggering invasion of privacy, Oxford city council is mandating to have conversations in licenced taxis (hackney carriages/black cabs) recorded via CCTV
Both video and audio .. (In contrast with regular CCTV which does not record audio)
The question is:
Why do policy makers ‘trust’ black cabs with data? (and not the ‘Web’)
The equivalent on the Web would be greeted with deep concerns by policy makers (ex if Google, Facebook or others had done this)
But why this anomaly?
One reason is ‘familiarity’
Most policy makers are older – hence unfamiliar with Facebook and social media – but familiar with taxi cabs ..
That familiarity apparently translates into trust for taxi drivers ..
However, this view could be very short sighted
The Internet and the Web are foundations of growth industries – and probably the best way to get out of the recession.
In a curious twist, I personally believe that the passengers would be more protected from the drivers. Based on my experience of trying to use black cabs from airports for relatively short journeys, the drivers were often arrogant and rude ..
So, some good could come out of this perhaps!
But the contradiction in policy is perplexing none the less!
Image source: wikipedia