Rights chief OKs Toronto transit cameras

March 3, 2008 at 3:15 PM
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TORONTO, March 3 (UPI) -- The privacy commissioner for the Canadian province of Ontario ruled the Toronto Transit Commission's plans for more surveillance cameras is legal.

The TTC's plans to set up 12,000 new cameras on its bus, subway and streetcar system by mid-2009 was challenged by the British-based human rights group Privacy International, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., reported.

The group claimed the new cameras contravened the Ontario Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. More than 1 million people use the transit system each weekday, and Privacy International said they would not only be recorded on video, but their conversations could be monitored as well, the report said.

However, Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian disagreed in her Monday ruling.

"Mass transit systems like the TTC, that are required to move large volumes of people, in confined spaces, on a daily basis, give rise to unique safety and security issues for the general public and operators of the system," she said.

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