What's the harm? They are taking photos of car plates in public. Right? Don't park out in public if you have an issue.
I’m all for personal privacy and all (I’m from the great state of Texas where we arm our teachers)…. But if a license plate is actually property of the state, then what’s the issue?
I know that for LEO agencies, this is HUGE in combating auto-theft. I know…my car was stolen 4 weeks ago and recovered an hour later with no damage. I was then pulled over on two separate occasions because my plate was still in the database (that’s a fun experience to have…TWICE!).
What can they do with this data that is intrusive?
It's not just parked cars - license plate tracking can (and does) include moving vehicles as well. You don't have to 'park your car in public' to be scanned. Mike's anecdotal incident(s) above show that.
The problem with license plate tracking and retention is not the technology itself. It is not inherently evil. Used properly, it can be a very effective tool for identifying/recovering stolen vehicles.
The problem lies in defining what is proper. Law enforcement has this technology with no checks and balances on how they can use this scanned plate data. Do you trust law enforcement to 'police' themselves?
Without any guidelines/rules, the data (in aggregate form) can absolutely be used to determine where you've been and what you do.... definitive patterns can certainly be identified with enough data points.
And, because the tracking is location-based, even those who you associate with (think civil protests, political activism) can be determined via geographic grouping of scans.
I am not against license plate scanning. I am against unregulated license plate scanning.
And for those that subscribe to the "I've got nothing to hide, so I don't mind" line of thinking, please note that privacy does not mean secrecy:
Why Privacy Matters - Even If You Have 'Nothing To Hide'
Debunking The 'If You've Got Nothing To Hide' Argument
Marty, your link refutes my stance with a line, and I quote, "Show me yours and I'll show you mine".... seriously? That is supposed to convince someone without reluctance to the data gathering?
And then he goes on to ask if he can photo me naked and share the pics with my neighbors? Like that is anything close to scanning my tags! Wow, what a leap off the deep end.
Time to replace your foil hat...
Does Bruce Schneier wear a tin foil hat?
From a 10 year old essay:
"The effects of wholesale surveillance on privacy and civil liberties is profound; but unfortunately, the debate often gets mischaracterized as a question about how much privacy we need to give up in order to be secure. This is wrong. It's obvious that we are all safer when the police can use all techniques at their disposal. What we need are corresponding mechanisms to prevent abuse, and that don't place an unreasonable burden on the innocent."
Which, not coincidentally, was my point - for those that may have missed it.
License Plate tracking worring you...
Upskirt photes on subway is not illigal
There are cameras on every corner of Chicago downtown. License plate recognition cameras around ex-Sears Tower building raise red flag if it sees you drive in circles around the block....as in search for parking. With little effort of updating VMS for face or plate recognition every camera can be used for tracking anything and anyone.
Considering any collected date is priceless to the right buyer, there should be regulations on anything that is done without proper authorization or concent. Ill through in NSA into conversation... no harm done, but is it proper if someone with right finances can buy collected information and have an advantage to someone other who does not have same info.