Oct 9, 2018

Court strikes down street cams for parking lots

According to the courts in Tel Aviv the city is not allowed to give out parking tickets using street cameras. According to the courts, the City of Tel Aviv was not authorized to use the street cams in this fashion, and the right to privacy outweighs the need to enforce parking laws.

According to the courts, using the street cams that video the road and those who are coming and going is a breach of privacy - the city was only authorized by the Knesset to use the cameras for traffic violations on the public roads but not to deal with parking violations. According to the court, the original authorization given to the city limits what they can use the cameras for.

According to the courts, using the cameras gathers a lot of information that has nothing to do with enforcing parking laws - many people not violating any law walk in and out of the video and they get documented with whatever they are doing, what they are wearing, what businesses on the road they walk in and out of, if it is Shabbos or weekday, people who park legally, etc. This is a breach of privacy that would require authorization from the Knesset to be allowed.
source: Globes

I would expect that now that this has been determined, the local authorities will just go to the Knesset and get them to expand the authorization to include parking lots. I do not see this breach of privacy is any worse than the initial breach of privacy on the roads that the Knesset already allowed. If they allowed one, chances are good that they'll allow the other, especially as it will help the local authorities bring in a lot of money...

On the one hand, there is no privacy today anyway. Almost all those people picked up in the video are carrying cellphones with location tracking enabled (and even if disabled, it has already been exposed that Google still tracks you anyway) and pretty much everything you do and everywhere you go is exposed and available to the public. This does not seem like a big deal. And, if they can get people to park better, such as taking up only one parking space instead of two or three or not parking in driving lanes, it is probably worth it.

On the other hand, perhaps the government has too much power anyway, and it is good to limit them a little bit. Even though here they'll just be helping themselves to authorize it, in the meantime - until they do, don't just give them that power and access.




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