Date
21 January 2017
CCTV cameras in taxis must strike a balance between passenger privacy and public interest, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Photo: RTHK
CCTV cameras in taxis must strike a balance between passenger privacy and public interest, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Photo: RTHK

Taxi cameras eyed to curb abusive drivers

Video cameras are being planned for taxis to try to stop abusive behavior.

The 18,000-strong Association for Taxi Industry Development, which represents one-third of taxi operators, wants to counter a government proposal to introduce premium services, RTHK reports.

The plan is aimed at curbing unscrupulous practices such as overcharging, refusing hire and rudeness by taxi drivers.

It is also intended to improve their service across the board.

Under the plan, recording will begin when a journey starts and the data will be encrypted to ensure it cannot be tampered with, according to RTHK.

The association said the recordings will only be given to the police when they are asked to assist in investigations.

The association expects to install the devices in about 2,000 taxis within a year, with the association paying for them at about HK$1,000 (US$129) each.  

A spokesman for the group, Chan Man-keung, said the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has no objections as long as certain conditions are met.

However, Privacy Commissioner Stephen Wong said his office has not, and will not support the move, RTHK says.

In a statement, he said a balance has to be made between public interest and passenger privacy.

The office recommends that the taxi trade consider other options and evaluate the risk of invading people’s privacy.

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