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Excerpt: NEW YORK – Police departments around the country are rapidly expanding their use of automatic license plate readers to track the location of American drivers, but few have meaningful rules in place to protect drivers' privacy rights, according to documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union. As a result, the new documents reveal, many departments are keeping innocent people's location information stored for years or even indefinitely, regardless of whether there is any suspicion of a crime.

"The spread of these scanners is creating what are, in effect, government location tracking systems recording the movements of many millions of innocent Americans in huge databases," said ACLU Staff Attorney Catherine Crump, the report's lead author. "We don't object to the use of these systems to flag cars that are stolen or belong to fugitives, but these documents show a dire need for rules to make sure that this technology isn't used for unbridled government surveillance."

Full ACLU Press Release:
ACLU Releases Documents on License Plate Scanners From Some 300 Police Departments Nationwide | American Civil Liberties Union
 

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This comes as a shock? Every time you drive through an automated toll station on a toll road, a camera gets your plate, and records it with a time and location.

I had a toll transponder in a location in one of my cars that limited its ability to react to the toll gates. Due to another programming glitch between Wisconsin and Illinois, even though I had my plate registered with the Illinois Toll system, they couldn't look up my plate. Eventually I received a scofflaw letter from the Illinois Tollway with a bill for more than $1000 for past due tolls, violations and late fees, etc. A telephone call cleared up the issue, paid the tolls due and the violations, late fees, etc. were all dropped.

BTW, even though their toll computers couldn't find my plate as being registered with their system, it didn't slow them down a bit when they decided to ticket me. They found me via the plate and sent me a nice picture of my car along with the bill.
 

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Its another example of just because we can should we?

Also, information on 100 cars collected at 1000 points is meaningful.

Information on 100 million cars at a zillion points becomes meaningless.
 

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Saw an article relating to this on the MSN web page : License plate data not just for cops: Private companies are tracking your car.
 

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But see, the citizens are the Public part of the citizenry, while government employees are there to protect the privacy of the Public. So, obviously, the Government of the Public must remain private so that it can guarantee that the privacy of the Public will be protected at all times because the Government will always know all the private stuff the Public is doing. Only then can they can protect it!! easy peasy.........
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thought the article made two points.
1. Records and stores plates regardless if no violations found.
2. No guidelines established for length of time records kept.

It appears the ACLU acknowledges the technology will and is being used. However, they believe? federal guidelines should be established first rather than afterward when that technology may be impacting our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that Americans continue to fight and die for.
 

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But see, the citizens are the Public part of the citizenry, while government employees are there to protect the privacy of the Public. So, obviously, the Government of the Public must remain private so that it can guarantee that the privacy of the Public will be protected at all times because the Government will always know all the private stuff the Public is doing. Only then can they can protect it!! easy peasy.........
You can't be serious about that. You're being facetious, yes? :skep:
 

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Purdue Civil Engineering professor and graduate students did a crowd sourcing study of traffic conditions around campus and greater Lafayette by setting up Bluetooth receivers and tracking the Bluetooth ID any Bluetooth device (mostly phones) broadcasts. They were not matching with cars, no easy way to know who is who, but before and after one home football game they got enough data to make it worthwhile to understand traffic patterns.

Just the other day police (a detective) in Indianapolis, went back and requested cellphone records for a phone of a person missing two years. Going through the records he was able to pinpoint the last known location of the phone to within a few hundred yards. This caused another, more intensive search with sonar of a nearby holding pond. They found the guy's car eight feet below the murky water with a body in it.

Until I hear otherwise it appears all the actual usage of this data trail we all have is being used for good purposes.
 

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Purdue Civil Engineering professor and graduate students did a crowd sourcing study of traffic conditions around campus and greater Lafayette by setting up Bluetooth receivers and tracking the Bluetooth ID any Bluetooth device (mostly phones) broadcasts. They were not matching with cars, no easy way to know who is who, but before and after one home football game they got enough data to make it worthwhile to understand traffic patterns.

Just the other day police (a detective) in Indianapolis, went back and requested cellphone records for a phone of a person missing two years. Going through the records he was able to pinpoint the last known location of the phone to within a few hundred yards. This caused another, more intensive search with sonar of a nearby holding pond. They found the guy's car eight feet below the murky water with a body in it.

Until I hear otherwise it appears all the actual usage of this data trail we all have is being used for good purposes.
In the DFW area, they're tracking toll tags (even on non-toll roads) to help understand traffic patterns. Trouble is that by the time they understand them and build new roads (decades in the process), they're obsolete.
 
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