and also, but not really.
" ... the apparently undebated programme to link up the nation's speed cameras and other number-plate recognition cameras in such a way as to monitor, effectively in real-time, the location of every car on the road, speeding or not. This provides a level of detail on the movement of citizens that is very close to that which would be provided by implanting GPS chips in people. "
Oh, do calm down Ross, that simply isn't true. For instance, in the last week I have travelled around my region quite extensively, but have only made two journeys involving motor cars, both of these have been in taxis. I spent the rest of my travel time on a bicycle or on public transport, or, shock horror, on foot. Walking, remember that ? Under these circumstances it's quite possible for the ordinary citizen to travel freely without being identified or tracked (future use of ID cards to peform all financial transactions notwithstanding, obviously).
Or consider, a car with two or more insured drivers, containing a number of passengers. Knowing the location of the vehicle in this case can not give you the identity of the driver to better than 50% accuracy, (less if you allow for the case where drivers are uninsured) let alone that of the passengers. It's important to remember that what is being tracked by ANPR systems, hideously intrusive as they may well be, is not the individual, but the vehicle.
Loose the vehicle, lose the problem.
I think the ICO is right, we *are* waking up in a surveilance society, and as usual, the Great British middle classes have been woken from their comfortably apathetic slumber by the potential for government interference in the one thing which they deem to be their inalienable, god given, right. The right to drive filthy great motorcars all over the place without anyone bothering them about trivial matters like speed limits, road construction costs, pollution, deaths, etc, etc.