Row over Oxford taxi recording plan

Taxis across Oxford could soon be fitted with CCTV cameras to record all passenger conversations in a "staggering invasion of privacy", a campaign group has said.

The plans to fit at least one camera in each of the 600-plus cabs licensed by Oxford City Council show a "total disregard for civil liberties", Big Brother Watch said.

The civil liberties group is planning to complain to the Information Commissioner over the decision to record all conversations.

The cameras will record all conversations from when the engine is first started until half an hour after the ignition is switched off.

Passengers will have to be careful when discussing personal information or financial matters, includingcar insurance details, when they get in the taxis.

Nick Pickles, the campaign group's director, said: "Big Brother now has big ears, and they are eavesdropping on your conversations with absolutely no justification."

He added: "Given that one rail route to Witney is through Oxford, we'll be letting the Prime Minister know that his staff might want to avoid using Oxford cabs."

Oxford City Council's spokeswoman said that "video and audio would run all the time within the vehicle, " under the new CCTV rules.

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