Car tax changes could install tracking devices in cars – ‘privacy must be protected’

Why motorists could pay more in car tax this year

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In their report, they warned any new system must reassure the public that their “privacy will be protected”. The Transport Select Committee report said “several key witnesses” stressed the importance of a legal framework to protect drivers privacy if a pay per mile system launches.

In conclusion, the Committee made it clear that the launch of a road pricing scheme was “contingent” on the Government explaining how the tool works.

It added the tools data management must be subject to “rigorous governance” to ensure information is safe.

They said: “The successful implementation of a national, technology-based road pricing scheme is contingent on the Government explaining how data capture will work in practice, ensuring that data management is subject to rigorous governance and oversight and reassuring the public that their privacy will be protected.”

Speaking in the report, Vivacity Labs argued road users must be told how the technology “cannot be misused”.

They said: “To maintain public support for any technological solution, it is imperative to not just engineer a solution that cannot be used to track individuals, but also to educate the public specifically on why it cannot be misused, and how introducing the system will specifically benefit them as citizens.”

However, other witnesses argued that the significance of data protection has been “overstated”.

Others warned this was not a “top-level concern” for the public.

Instead, they argued drivers were prepared to provide dar access in exchange for “efficient services and systems”.

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Overall, the Committee has backed the use of telematics technology to charge drivers according to distance driven.

This technology may just be able to track overall mileage but some experts have also warned a more sophisticated system could be developed.

John Siruat, Director of Economics at Jacobs has discussed the possibility of a dynamic road pricing system.

This could charge drivers based on the road being used and the time of travel.

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