In the just off-the-wall-enough-to-be-implemented category, the idea from McDowell is that Gardai should be able to take photos of public order/offence suspects as a matter of course. And the rationale? In case people give false name and addresses. It sounds more like a national database for the Gardai by the backdoor to me. Let’s read the meat:
Mr McDowell told TDs he envisaged “the day, now that we are in the era that most of us carry a camera in our phone, that gardaí on duty dealing with a disorder situation, where they ask someone for their name and address, would also take a photograph of them so they know who they were dealing with afterwards, and that somehow this would be digitally sendable back to some record somewhere so that it is kept.
“I don’t see that this is a huge civil liberties issue,” he said. “It does seem to me that we will soon get to the point that every squad car has a mobile computer attached to it and will be in a position to communicate back.”
Mr McDowell also said he would like to see closed circuit television monitoring installed throughout every Garda station, which would be in addition to recording interviews.
The Garda is planning to introduce a new €6 million computer and camera system for Garda traffic corps vehicles which will be able to read car registrations and which will be linked to the Garda pulse system.
It means any vehicles which are not taxed or insured or which have been reported stolen will trigger a warning notice on an in-car computer screen.
Would anyone else have a problem being photographed as a matter of course for even being suspected for such a minor offence?