Could Mobile Detection Cameras Invade Our Privacy?

The New South Wales Privacy Commissioner has expressed major concerns about Sydney’s world first mobile phone detection cameras.

The mobile detection cameras are in use in New South Wales, the cameras employ the use of artificial intelligence to analyze images taken through a vehicle’s front windshield, Images identified as being likely to contain a driver illegally using a call phone will then be verified by authorized personnel with photos subsequently passed on to humans for final review. 

The technology has been developed by Acusensus, with Inventor Alex McCredie and Managing Director Alexander Jannink 

One of the top issues brought up by the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) in the documents related to how, unlike red light and speed cameras, the detection cameras take photos of all drivers, not just those breaking the law.

Because the cameras capture the “personal information of individuals in every vehicle”, concerns were raised about if that information was being appropriately protected, stored and deleted.

In the documents, Transport for NSW estimated that about 95 per cent of the images taken would be of “vehicle occupants not involved in an offence”.

The organization also admitted that “there is a risk” people were not being informed about how the images, which could include things their face, number plate and car interior, were being used.

In the first 25 days of the cameras being trialled, about 2.1 million vehicles were captured.

Of those vehicles about 0.9 per cent were found to be using a mobile phone.

The state government has previously been praised for testing out the world-first technology, but more than 1100 emails and documents obtained by 9 News reveals there are some big concerns about the cameras.

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