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Surveillance Commissioner responds to DfT consultation Published Date: 30/04/2019

Surveillance Camera Commissioner has published its response to the ‘Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing: protecting users’ consultation by the Department for Transport.

In the response, the Commissioner reminded LAs that they must have regard to its Code of Practice when making decisions on CCTV in licensed vehicles saying: “As relevant authorities under PoFA, local authorities must be made aware that if they do not pay due regard to the code this is admissible as evidence in court.”

It warned that “blanket licencing may be disproportionate and should only be used where there is a strong justification”. It warned in particular that the “recording of conversations is extremely intrusive and requires strong justification.”

The Commissioner also said:


  • A key part in the process for justifying a surveillance camera system is consultation. The Commissioner would expect to see clear evidence of public consultation before any final decision about installation is made. This consultation should involve members of the public, taxi drivers, police and any relevant regulators.
  • Local authorities must also have completed a data protection impact assessment prior to installation and have consulted their data protection officer and legal teams.
  • Where it is the case that taxi drivers use the vehicle for their own private use the Commissioner would expect there to be a facility to switch off recording.