> Read the report and try and form your own opinion.
Certainly, Matt. And my first opinion is (unsurprisingly) that you've cherry-picked quotes that support your position whilst missing out other, very relevant, sections.
There is a further related issue – the level of vetting required for control room operators to access police Airwave or the ANPR system. It is currently, rightly, the decision of the Chief Constable on whether or not to give access to the Local Authority control room. This is important and my concern is the lack of consistency and the absence of a recommended standard. This is something I have raised with the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) via the ANPR and CCTV policing leads.
It is now possible for UK police forces to interrogate in excess of 11 billion records per year lodged on the system. The main ways that the data can be exploited through data mining are outlined as:
• vehicle tracking: real time and retrospective;
• vehicle matching: identifying all vehicles that have taken a particular route during a particular time frame;
• geographical matching: identifying all vehicles present in a particular place at a particular time;
• network analysis: by identifying the drivers of vehicles and their network of associates, ANPR can be used to indicate vehicles that may be travelling in convoy;
Now whilst, of course, someone like you would argue that this is a good thing for finding paedophiles and drug dealers and terrorists, someone who has a slightly broader perspective would realise that this also contains a risk of abuse since it could be used to identify anyone whose vehicle was in the vicinity of an event which was not officially approved by the State.
In 2015 the Home Office has committed approximately £5 million to support the development of the National ANPR Service which includes cloud based storage.
Hmm, cloud based storage? I wonder if any of that is based in the USA or owned by US corporations who are, of course, required to hand over any and all such information to their Security Services on demand (and not tell anyone they've done so...)
And in the section titled "Legitimacy of ANPR system use by police" where the author of El Reg's gets the quote about the lack of "statutory authority for the creation of the national ANPR database, its creation was never agreed by parliament, and no report on its operation has even been laid before parliament" (so, clearly, Kat Hall *has* RTFR) it also says:
These issues fall into sharper focus given the desire within some quarters in the police to extend retention periods from the currently agreed two year period to a maximum of seven years. I have referred these concerns over the legality of ANPR to the Home Office.
(Perish the thought that the Home Office would disagree or retroactively change the rules...)
Then in the section "Compliance with Guiding Principles within the Surveillance Code of Practice" the report's author says:
I have openly called for greater transparency from the police relating to the numbers of ANPR cameras deployed and any evidence relating to their efficiency and effectiveness to also be published. It is not acceptable to have to rely on submitting Freedom of Information requests. Police forces should be willing to publish this information on websites and engage in debates around its usage.
So I think my opinion is that the report's author isn't quite as "supportive" of ANPR and the database it generates as you assert...