- Prison Planet.com - http://www.prisonplanet.com -

Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking

Posted By yihan On July 17, 2013 @ 10:34 am In Featured Stories,Tile | Comments Disabled

Catherine Crump
ACLU [1]
July 17, 2013

Automatic license plate readers are the most widespread location tracking technology you’ve probably never heard of. Mounted on patrol cars or stationary objects like bridges, they snap photos of every passing car, recording their plate numbers, times, and locations.At first the captured plate data was used just to check against lists of cars law enforcement hoped to locate for various reasons (to act on arrest warrants, find stolen cars, etc.). But increasingly, all of this data is being fed into massive databases that contain the location information of many millions of innocent Americans stretching back for months or even years.

This is what we have found after analyzing more than 26,000 pages of documents from police departments in cities and towns across the country, obtained through freedom of information requests by ACLU affiliates in 38 states and Washington, D.C. As it becomes increasingly clear that ours is an era of mass surveillance facilitated by ever cheaper and more powerful computing technology (think about the NSA’s call logging program), it is critical we learn how this technology is being used. License plate readers are just one example of a disturbing phenomenon: the government is increasingly using new technology to collect information about all of us, all the time, and to store it forever – providing a complete record of our lives for it to access at will.

Today, we are releasing all of the documents we have received (accessible through this interactive map [2] and this issue page [3]) and are publishing a report, “You Are Being Tracked [4],” which explains what these documents say about license plate readers: what they are capable of, how they are being used, and what privacy harms they can cause if protections aren’t put in place. We’re also offering more than a dozen recommendations we think local police departments and state legislatures should follow when they pass laws about this technology.

Check out this great explainer about the technology:

Full story here. [1]


Article printed from Prison Planet.com: http://www.prisonplanet.com

URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/police-documents-on-license-plate-scanners-reveal-mass-tracking.html

URLs in this post:

[1] ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-national-security/police-documents-license-plate-scanners-reveal-mass

[2] interactive map: https://www.aclu.org/maps/automatic-license-plate-reader-documents-interactive-map

[3] issue page: https://www.aclu.org/plates

[4] You Are Being Tracked: https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/you-are-being-tracked-how-license-plate-readers-are-being-used-record

[5] Massive surveillance nation: Police now using license plate scanners to collect intelligence on cars, no crime necessary: http://www.prisonplanet.com/massive-surveillance-nation-police-now-using-license-plate-scanners-to-collect-intelligence-on-cars-no-crime-necessary.html

[6] POLICE STATE: New LAPD Cruisers Equipped With Infrared Cameras, License Plate Scanners…: http://www.prisonplanet.com/police-state-new-lapd-cruisers-equipped-with-infrared-cameras-license-plate-scanners.html

[7] New East Palo Alto license plate readers will run plates through crime databases: http://www.prisonplanet.com/new-east-palo-alto-license-plate-readers-will-run-plates-through-crime-databases.html

[8] Lawmakers propose bar codes & RFID transponders to be put on every license plate: http://www.prisonplanet.com/lawmakers-propose-bar-codes-rfid-transponders-to-be-put-on-every-license-plate.html

[9] Documents Reveal New Details About DHS Development of Mobile Body Scanners: http://www.prisonplanet.com/documents-reveal-new-details-about-dhs-development-of-mobile-body-scanners.html

Copyright © 2013 PrisonPlanet.com. All rights reserved.