Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Privacy and the Radio System

*Privacy and the Radio System.

Following a letter to the DOT [013] on the driver identification issue and the driver safety issue a reply was received from John McLoughlin of the DOT on the 20th August 1993. [014] His letter pointed out that in order to drive a taxi, drivers must first "complete the taxi driver authority package" (i.e. in itself anintrusion into the industrial rights of drivers who were now required to supply information to the networks/employers in their own "free"/unpaid time). Further, the driver must sign a "Declaration" in which they declare "they will abide by the NSW Taxi Industry's Code of Conduct for authorised taxi drivers".

The authority package consists of the driver passing over to the networks personal details such as date of birth, residential address, phone number, etc. While this may appear to be a normal request from a responsible employer, once an authority number has been assigned to an individual driver it becomes freely available to all employees in the radio room within the networks and beyond. This is because the driver is now required to punch in his personal ID number at alltimes from the commencement of each shift. Should a radio room employee identify a `blacklisted' driver (a process that is far easier now as all details about the driver are freely available and not just the pin number) then a driver is much more exposed to victimisation, illegal transmission of personal details (i.e. to taxi operators outside of the radio room, e.g. base managers) and, under satellite tracking all driver movements are now monitored for purposes good and bad.

Source: Sydney Taxi Corruption

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