Because freedom can't protect itself
Our local police department in San Leandro, California, also retains all data from the license plate scanner indefinitely. There is no policy at all. I verified this with the police chief and by filing a records request for all instances in which my vehicle had been captured by the license plate scanner. In some cases, the images included recognizable pictures of people.
While San Leandro has just one license plate scanner (vehicle-mounted), Oakland Police have 18 and the Oakland Police Department also retains all data indefinitely.
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