Istanbul municipality puts warning letters over video recording in cabs after criticism
İdris Emen – ISTANBULThe Istanbul Municipality has begun to put warning letters regarding video recording in cabs as a part of its new initiative after the move immediately drew criticism over “the violation of the right to privacy.”
The municipality’s iTaksi intiative, supported by an Uber-like mobile application, had introduced cabs with cameras starting from August as a part of a circular issued by the security general directorate.
The cameras can record both inside and outside the cabs, but previously there had been no warnings indicating that there were recordings happening inside the cab. The move had immediately raised concerns over private life.
Sources from the municipality had also stated that the cameras would only record video not audio during travels.
However, the municipality began putting warnings next to the cameras, notifying there would be a recording process.
“For your safety, CCTV is in operation,” the warning read both in Turkish and English.
Below the warning, the security general directorate’s circular was also read.
“This vehicle has been equipped with recording devices which are able to record for seven days. The recordings are shared with security units on demand for the investigation of legal incidents,” it said.
Earlier, Uğur Poyraz, a lawyer, had described the move as a “violation of private life.”
“It is obligatory for such a recording to be notified to the person in advance. Otherwise, the recording will be against the law. With this in mind, there should be visible texts on the mobile application and in cabs containing this information, and drivers should also notify their passengers,” Poyraz told daily Hürriyet.
Over 3,000 cabs out of 17,395 across the city have already been equipped with cameras so far.
The Istanbul Bar Association had also filed a lawsuit to the notice of the Security General Directorate over recording inside cabs and demanded the cancelation of the initiative.