We Already Regulate You

Another lesson from Europe, this time from the United Kingdom, rears its…head.

It seems that Oxford thinks it’s a good idea to put surveillance devices into all the taxi cabs that operate in the city, and at taxpayer expense, yet (I suppose this might be mildly better than making the cabbies pay for them—that would be a bit like making the condemned criminal pay for his own rope).  What’s more, after the passenger has gotten out of the cab, even after the cab’s ignition has been shut off, Oxford’s devices will continue to record for a time, and the records will be held available to the city’s authorities for a month.

It’s all to protect the cabbies and the passengers from each other, don’t you know.  Mutual complaints and everything, you see

As for you pesky citizens and your concerns (“…staggering invasion of privacy, being done with no evidence, no consultation and a total disregard for civil liberties,” wrote Nick Pickles of the organization Big Brother Watch), don’t you worry your pretty little heads.  The City says that when a company “buy[s] the taxi and license [they] submit to a regulatory regime.”  Presumably, this submission extends to the passenger, as well, when he uses that taxi with its license.

We already regulate you.  That justifies us regulating you more.

Let’s see, now, where else are we seeing government intrusion?  Hmm….

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