The UK government is considering giving police full access to data collected from traffic cameras in order to track the movement of cars. The proposal was revealed in a leaked Home Office document and follows previous comments by Home Office Minister Tony McNulty that real-time data from London's 1,500 traffic cameras would be handed over to police on a trial basis, Reuters reports.

Under the current set-up, police have to request permission to access data from the number-plate reading cameras on an individual basis, but according to the leaked document this rule could be abolished permanently.

Such a move would give police the power to monitor drivers without any conflict and has been condemned by civil rights groups as just another step towards a ‘big brother’ society. Conversely, a spokesman from the Home Office explains that by giving police access to the automatic car recognition data events like the recent London car bombings could be prevented.