20 Dec 2007.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Manchester C-Charge 'A Threat to Privacy'
Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART) is to step up its campaign for an independent privacy commissioner to safeguard drivers personal details if a congestion charge is introduced.
ABD and MART co-ordinator, Sean Corker, criticised Manchester council leaders for not releasing any details of how drivers' personal data will be safeguarded if their bid for congestion charge funding is approved by the government.
He said:
"The recent twin debacles over the loss of millions of child benefit details and learner driver's records are a wake up call for all citizens who fear government incompetence and loss of privacy, yet political leaders in Manchester have said nothing about security around the proposed congestion tax database. For instance, who will have access to it, what safeguards will be put in place and who will be responsible to prevent identity fraud and theft?"
MART is demanding the appointment of an independent civil liberties champion to protect the public and prevent political interference.
He continued:
"The definition of personal privacy begins and ends with a data protection act that is far too easily bypassed by authorities and ignored by criminals. Manchester Council has an agenda to massively increase the size of the congestion charge to cover the whole of Greater Manchester making it one of the biggest databases in the country. This will mean even more cameras, more surveillance, more data collection and an ever growing log of our movements. The last few weeks have proved beyond doubt that the only way to safeguard our privacy is not to collect the data in the first place."

Manchester Evening News: C-charge: Risk to privacy?

Notes for Editors about the ABD