New Home for Where is My Data

This site has now been incorporated to the site Where is Your Data?

This blog will still remain here, but lectures, quizzes, tests, and news will be put on the parent site.


Wider Deployment of ANPR 2004 to 2009

In 2003 Science Policy Unit produced a report for the “”Police Science and Technology Strategy” with a five year plan from 2004 to 2009.

Part of the plan was a significant increase in ANPR, the report states that: “Wider deployment of ANPR technology across the service to target known offenders.”

Full Report

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RFID used for Tracking

More and more companies are working on technology that is designed to use RFID chips for tracking people and vehicles, sometimes referred to as “assets”.

The UK Government, along with DVLA and IBM are looking to use “Electronic Number Plates” to track cars around the UK, and possibly the EU

Below are an example of some of the companies developing this technology and their statements from their websites:

IDENTEC SOLUTIONS is the global leader in wireless tracking and tracing solutions. The Intelligent Long Range® (ILR®) active RFID System can identify, locate, track and communicate with assets at a distance of up to 500 meters to deliver superior business process visibility in dynamic, demanding environments. IDENTEC SOLUTIONS’ technology and products are utilized to help track people and valuable assets in a completely reliable and secure manner.

e-Plate is the leader in Electronic Vehicle Identification (EVI) using active RFID tagging. Why this technology? Because governments across the world are looking to tagging to optimise the use of road space, reduce non-compliance, combat vehicle crime and fight terrorism.

Active technology, uniquely, does the job. To be precise, the 99.98% accurate, secure identification of:

• any vehicle or vehicles (car, bus, truck, trailer, motorcycle)
• individually or in dense traffic
• travelling at any speed or stationary
• in either direction
• in any weather conditions;
. . . when it comes within a distance of up to 100 metres of an e-Plate reader.

EVI Management Group is a privately owned and federally incorporated company operating in Vancouver, British Columbia since 2005 and is the exclusive agency for e-Plate in Canada.

The company seeks to advance the use of electronic vehicle identification in Canada and around the world. We have been privileged to speak to a number of groups including:

* Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators
* Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
* Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
* Bureau of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Freight Security

Electronic Vehicle Identification

EVI defines the ability to electronically identify vehicles, either in the specific or the aggregate, at a time and place, using technology.

None of these companies mention any of the issues of privacy on their websites.

Electronic Number Plates

DVLA is currently trialling/testing the use of Electronic Number Plates within the UK. These tests are starting because the UK law has been adapted to allow for the electronic tags of all cars in the future:

The Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 introduced a provision to enable the making of regulations specifying additional information to be displayed on or contained in number plates. The provision was deliberately worded so as to allow for the possible use of microchips in number plates. This provision would have to be activated for the use of electronic plates in a live environment.

The electronic number plates could be used across Europe to track vehicles for surveillance and road pricing purposes. Currently the DVLA is erring towards using RFIDs on vehicles.

In April 2006, DVLA’s partner IBM, were commissioned to produce an analysis of consideration for introducing an RFID based system for the purposes of vehicle identification and road pricing. In summary, the analysis concluded the active tag would appear to be the only proven solution to identify a moving vehicle at a reasonable distance in freeflowing traffic

The range of the RFID could be up to 100m, according the DVLA.

The privacy issues in relation to this have not been addressed at all by the DVLA, nor do they appear to have consulted the ICO.

Full DVLA report available here DVLA Electronic Numer Plate Report

Other Articles on the subject are

RFID Vehicle Tagging

Cloning Cars

Plans to chip all cars?

The UK-based vehicle licence plate manufacturer, Hills Numberplates Ltd, has chosen long-range RFID tags and readers from Identec Solutions to be embedded in licence plates that will automatically and reliably identify vehicles in the UK.

The new e-Plates project uses active (battery powered) RFID tags embedded in the plates to identify vehicles in real time. The result is the ability to reliably identify any vehicle, anywhere, whether stationary or mobile, and – most importantly – in all weather conditions. (Previous visually-based licence plate identification techniques have been hampered by factors such as heavy rain, mist, fog, and even mud or dirt on the plates.)

The e-Plates project has been under development for the past three years at a cost of more than £1 million, and is currently under consideration by a number of administrations. It is hoped that e-Plate will be one of the systems trialled by the UK Government in its forthcoming study of micro-chipped licence plates.

Chipped plates
The plates are the same shape and size as conventional plates, and are permanently fitted to the vehicle in the same way. But each e-Plate contains an embedded tag with a unique, encrypted identification number that is transmitted by the tag for detection by RFID readers. Multiple tags can be read simultaneously by a single reader at speeds of up to 320km per hour (200mph), up to 100 metres (300 feet) away.

The reader network, which includes fixed location readers (for use on the roadside) and portable readers (for use in surveillance vehicles and handheld devices), sends the unique identifier in real time to a central system where it is matched with the corresponding vehicle data such as registration number, owner details, make, model, colour, and tax/insurance renewal dates.

Identities secured
A key benefit of the e-Plate is that the tag provides an encrypted and secure ID code which is registered in the UK Ministry of Transport’s vehicle database. This code prevents tampering, cloning, or other forms of fraud that can currently happen with camera-based systems. Additionally, the e-Plate is designed to shatter if anyone tries to remove or otherwise tamper with it, and the tag can be programmed to transmit a warning if any attempt is made to dislodge the plate.

Surveillance applications
The system is expected to be used to identify vehicles for applications such as security, access control, electronic payment, tracking and processing, traffic management, and customer service. Commercial applications could include car dealerships, rental companies, insurance companies, fleet operators, and parking garages. In the public sector, the main applications would include enforcement (compliance with road tax, insurance, and mechanical checks), access control to restricted areas, combating vehicle theft and associated crime, and traffic flow counting and modelling.

According to Richard Taffinder, operations director for Hills Numberplates, the e-Plates were developed to provide companies and public authorities with a more reliable way to positively identify and capture information on a vehicle.

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Steal a Number Plate Avoid ANPR

ANPR was invented to ‘combat terrorism’ but is now used to enforce the most minor of road traffic offenses; the whole system is 100% reliant on the number plate being the correct.

The question of “why would a criminal use the correct number plate on their car?” leaps to mind.

The police are already aware of the problem and the Superintendent John Wake at ACPO’s Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service recently stated “I don’t have confidence that beyond that you can identify that that vehicle is the legitimate vehicle for that plate”.

According to the DVLA & Police more than 40,000 sets of number plates were stolen in 2006, a rise of almost 25%. Because of this ACPO wants tamper proof plates and a central number plate issuing deparment. The DVLA is currently considering requiring all forcing all motorcycles (1.3 million) to be fitted with plates featuring electronic tags, which have been tested around the UK.

A car can be cloned, simply by stealing the plate of a similar car, and putting it on another car. This way when the “suspect” car goes through a speed camera, congestion point, or ANPR camera, the lawful owner of the cloned car ,who has done nothing wrong, will get a ticket, automatically, and will have great difficulty in proving they are innocent,. The innocent party will be required to prove they are innocent.

The Met Police think that the cloning has increased because of the amount of camera based detection of “offences”. Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Glen Smyth said the ‘problem has grown because of the amount of camera-based enforcement of traffic offences, which relies on computer records on who owns which car’.

This means that ANPR was invented to combat terrorism, it was then used to ‘combat’ the scourge of no road tax, but this then created a new breed of offences, so we are now creating new laws and new technology to resolve the issue of car cloning.

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600,000 Cars Tracked a Day in Manchester via ANPR

GMP combines wireless CCTV and ANPR to collect more data

A supplier to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) recently announcing that it’s now “virtually impossible to drive a car into the centre [of Manchester] without having its licence plate, colour and time of entry recorded.”

The scheme involves ringing the city with CCTV cameras, which use a wireless network to send back information to be checked by the police.

Around 600,000 number plates are recorded as day, and stored up to five years.

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