The Metropolitan Police (Met) has requested to see data on Oyster cards 22,000 times since 2008.
According to a Guardian report, the Met requested personal data that TfL holds relating to citizens 5,295 times in 2008; 5,359 in 2009; 5,046 in 2010; and 6,258 in 2011. The information, which came from a Guardian freedom of information request, also revealed the Met has made 250 requests to TfL this year.
Transport for London’s Oyster card system uses radio frequency identification tags (RFID) to enable a contactless ticketing system.
The smartcard network, launched in 2003, is run by the TranSys consortium of suppliers. EDS and Cubic Corporation are responsible for the day to day to management of the system, while Fujitsu and WS Atkins are shareholders with no active involvement in the system’s day-to-day management.
The cards store passengers’ season ticket or pay-as-you-go information. Passengers swipe them against readers each time they use public transport in London – the cards act as an aerial and the reader acts as a receiver.