FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

License Plate Data Collection Raising Privacy Concerns

May 19, 2014  | 

Photo: PlateSmart Technologies
Photo: PlateSmart Technologies

A growing number of cameras are taking pictures of license plates and logging the time and place in massive databases. Cops can then search those databases to track the past whereabouts of drivers.

Law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times that data collection is invaluable for tracking down stolen cars and catching fugitives.

But such databases are also being built by private firms, which can sell access to anyone willing to pay, such as lenders, repo workers and private investigators. That is raising worries among privacy advocates and lawmakers, who say the fast-growing industry is not only ripe for conflicts of interest but downright invasive.


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Longarm9 @ 5/19/2014 12:11 PM

I have zero concern with this technology being in the hands of the police; the police and other law enforcement in the US and Canada are overwhelmingly trustworthy. I have huge concerns with it being in the hands of unscrupulous dirt bag collection agencies and other private firms. When profit is the motive, abuse is sure to follow. However, I would also say that there may nothing to be done as a license plate is not private information, and you can't stop people tracking your movements as you go about in public as long as they don't accost you in any way.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/19/2014 3:09 PM

NCIC requires probable cause to run a database search of a license plate number and so do most state wide computer systems. Running a plate without probable cause is a felony in most states. As long as the information is only used when probable cause is present I don't have a problem with it being held in a database strictly as metadata. I do know that GPS data is sold to anyone willing to buy it and insurance companies use that as a cost analysis database for their customers that use GPS. But using the license plate without the NCIC information should be fine since the personal details are restricted and can only be accessed via a warrant by private companies. It's all moot anyway since the NSA is allowed to break all laws to collect anything they want for any reason they want. Big brother is watching always.

AJ @ 5/19/2014 3:11 PM

What do you think LPDC do to people who have a Grievance against the Government? Like in the Bundy Ranch situation? Holder and Obama will have the IRS after them, after they're done. The Gov. is in bed with Multi National Corps. Phone companies get paid to collect data on you, me and everyone else. Regardless if we fit a "Terrorist profile". Like a Radical Muslim. Even though Obama and Holder can help the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria.

Zbigniew Brzezinski Technocracy.. That's what we've become. A Fascist Police State. More than Hitler could have dreamed of. Look up ZB quotes and his "friends".

Funny how Obama wants to chase the Boko Haram around Africa, but he can't put troops on our own border? You can find Slave traders in the USA, in AZ, NM and elsewhere. If you look hard enough.. And that's the end of my rant. :)

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/19/2014 10:59 PM

What article are you reading AJ? Perhaps an increase n your Paranoid Schizophrenia medication is in order.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Inspector General Recommends Changes in NYPD Body Camera Policy
According to the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD, the police department’s...
Parabon's Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service Reveals New Clues in 27-Year Old Cold Case
Working with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Police Department, Parabon generated a composite image...
Facebook Loses Appeal on New York Search Warrants
A New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Facebook had no legal standing to...
DHS Unveils Major Expansion of ICE Cyber Crimes Center
The expanded ICE Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., will provide ICE's Homeland Security...
Dell Introduces Its First Fully Rugged Tablet Built to Withstand Harsh Environments
Dell today announced the new Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, Dell's first fully rugged tablet...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine