Macau | Gov't and legislators disagree on video cameras inside taxis

The government continues to reject the idea of installing video cameras in taxi vehicles in Macau, while some legislators continue to promote it

Macau (MNA) – The government continues to reject the idea of installing video cameras in taxi vehicles in Macau while some legislators continue to promote it.

“It is an option. There are also several technical aspects linked to it – namely; the cost to transfer or not to transfer data. It implies more sophisticated equipment,” Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo Arrais do Rosário said on Tuesday following a meeting of the 3rd standing committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL).

“All this has been debated today but there are no final positions about it yet,” added the Secretary.

The committee is currently discussing the taxi regulation with members of the government.

“The government’s opinion is the one that it presented in the bill, which is the use of audio recording and GPS,” claimed the Secretary, adding that the proposal foresees the protection of personal data.

Also speaking on the matter after the meeting, the chairman of the committee, Vong Hin Fai, said that committee members who favour the use of cameras inside cabs claim that the policy would allow for “better conflict resolution” as well as providing more protection for drivers, passengers, and licence owners.

Yet, there is some disagreement still among the members of the committee regarding the storage and transfer of data, both audio and image, in the eventuality of image recording being considered part of the new regulation.

Questions raised touch on how the data will be transferred to police authorities and the Transport Bureau (DSAT) – the only two bodies who would have the right to access the data.

The option of installing a ‘black box’ inside the vehicles – similar to those used in aircraft – has also been suggested by some of the legislators.

Vong claimed the government is more inclined for the data to be stored by licence owners; that is, companies running the taxi fleet.

At the end of the session with media today, the legislator said the committee had received a petition signed by some 1,700 taxi drivers – sent to the committee by AL president, Ho Iat Seng – but did not volunteer to disclose more information about its content.