"We are in contact with some companies and are waiting for an offer", said the second chairman of the cab association frankfurt, kudilay cugali, to dpa. He expects costs of 700 to 900 euros per device. "We need the four-eyes principle – on the outside as well as on the inside."But the pictures had to be pixelated and the sound distorted because of data protection. "The best thing then is for the public prosecutor to get to it."
Data protection experts don’t think it’s unrealistic. "There are various ways of solving this in terms of data protection," said alfons schranz, traffic officer at the hessian data protection commissioner’s office, in wiesbaden about the plans. In addition to a quick deletion of the data, this also meant that the passengers were precisely informed. The cab drivers first had to present what exactly they wanted to do.
The idea is not new: in bremen, cab drivers have already found a solution, according to thomas schmidt of the hesse state association for the passenger transport industry. The images were transferred online to a server in the central office, where they were automatically deleted after 24 hours. Neither the driver nor the colleagues in the central office could see the pictures.
The number of robberies has decreased noticeably with the introduction of cashless payments, said schmidt. "But the single traps are often very bad. This can go as far as murder."
The state criminal police office (LKA) recorded 28 robberies of drivers in hesse last year, including 16 cab drivers. More than one in two of these robberies was solved, said LKA spokesman udo buhler in wiesbaden. In 2010, there had been 42 robberies of drivers, including 27 of cab drivers. Smaller crimes – such as purse or cell phone thefts – occur almost every weekend, according to cugali’s estimates. "Many keep this to themselves."
Most cabs are already covered by GPS, said schmidt. "In the central ones, you can see the vehicles driving through the area – depending on the setting, with an accuracy of 30 to 100 meters."Some drivers also had a silent alarm that allowed the control center to listen in on a passenger’s conversation unnoticed in a traffic situation. At the same time, more and more guests are paying without cash. "The day will come when the passenger only enters a PIN."