Myki: ticket or tracking device?

Fairfax this morning reveals that myki is handing over customer information to police.

The data logged by myki includes when and where a person touches on and off, and the personal details they use to register the card.

The Transport Ticketing Authority says police have made 113 requests about myki users since the smart cards were introduced in late 2009.

There have already been 71 requests for customer movements this year, more than three times the number of requests received last year.

Under the TTA’s privacy policy, police can make a written request for information about a customer’s movements without court oversight.

The policy states that personal information about myki customers will be handed to police when ”an authorised police officer certifies in writing that the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law”.

That’s an extremely low threshold. Particularly when one considers that this is all going on in the absence of a warrant issued by the court. Written requests from police should be resisted by myki unless the police have express legal authorisation. The current policy allows the police to use mykis as de facto tracking devices. This is a completely unacceptable intrusion into the private lives of Victorian public transport users.

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