Monday, October 13, 2008

British Columbia bridge implements plate-based tolling

The Golen Ears Bridge in British Columbia is the first toll highway/bridge in Western Canada to follow the lead of Toronto's 407 ETR to implement electronic tolling using plate identification.

Spokespeople are attempting to soothe privacy fears, but I'm not sure it goes far enough:

Vehicles crossing Golden Ears Bridge will be tracked, TransLink says


But TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said people shouldn't worry about their privacy being invaded.

He said billing agents who send toll bills by mail will be the only ones who usually have access to who crosses the bridge.

Police conducting criminal investigations will also have access, he said, just as they are able to access digital video recorded at SkyTrain stations.

Private individuals will be out of luck.

"If a jealous husband comes along and says, 'I want to know if my wife went across the bridge at a certain time', he won't be able to. That information is protected," he said.

Hardie said TransLink conducted a privacy impact assessment on Golden Ears bridge tolling, and had it approved by the Freedom of Information and Privacy office in Victoria.

"We've taken all the steps to satisfy them [privacy officials] that the records will be kept and managed in an appropriate way," he said.

"The key issues are what kind of record is being created, how long do you keep it, how do you store it and who has access to it," said Hardie.

If you ask me, police shouldn't get any of the information unless they show a warrant and spouses should know that an ordinary civil subpoena will probably pry that info loose from TransLink without too much hassle.

No comments: