Speedcam Anywhere app accused of potentially violating privacy 

Occurred: April 2022

A mobile phone-based anti-speeding app is drawing criticism in the UK for its privacy implications and potential use as a surveillance tool, according to The Guardian.

Speedcam Anywhere's AI-based app works by taking a short video clip of a passing vehicle, which is automatically assessed to gauge vehicle speed against local speed limits, with a report (pdf) generated which can be shared with authorities.

While not formally approved by the police, the app is being trialed in the UK by speed safety campaigners 20’s Plenty For Us and is described by the NGO's founder Rod King MBE as a 'game changer'. A senior police officer told the Guardian it is a 'potentially very significant' deterrent to dangerous driving.

However, drivers and rights activists worry Speedcam Anywhere is overly intrusive and the clips and reports can too easily be used for a number of unethical purposes. 

App users also complain the app is difficult to use and unreliable on Google Play

Operator: Speedcam Anywhere; 20’s Plenty For Us
Developer: Speedcam Anywhere
Country: UK
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Estimate vehicle speed
Technology: Automated license plate/number recognition (ALPR/ANPR); Computer vision
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Dual/multi-use; Surveillance; Privacy
Transparency: Privacy

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: April 2022