License Plate Scanners

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR)

"Limited Only by the Imagination": The Need for Legal Limits on License Plate Reader Use

"Limited Only by the Imagination": The Need for Legal Limits on License Plate Reader Use

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 10:13am

If you've been following our work on license plate readers, by now you know that if you're driving, your license plate is likely being photographed...

State secrecy and opaque funding programs cloud public's understanding of federal grants for surveillance gear

State secrecy and opaque funding programs cloud public's understanding of federal grants for surveillance gear

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 2:54pm

In the summer of 2012, the national ACLU and 38 affiliates submitted public records requests to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to learn about how they are engaging with license plate readers—powerful cameras that, used without…

Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking

Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:01am

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,…

Report: 85 Percent Of Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have License Plate Readers Within The Next Five Years

Report: 85 Percent Of Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have License Plate Readers Within The Next Five Years

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 12:58pm

Automatic license plate readers don’t pose much of a threat to our privacy if there aren’t very many of them. Like surveillance cameras, they really only become a problem when the data they collect are situated in a broader context of pervasive…

Police “Google Searches” Through Our Location History? No Thanks

Police “Google Searches” Through Our Location History? No Thanks

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 3:24pm

Imagine a searchable database that would enable police or federal agents to instantly track everywhere you’ve ever driven in your car, like a “Google search” of your location over a period of months or even years. According to a law enforcement…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/5/12)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/5/12)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 3:50pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of…

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 2:29pm

This summer ACLU affiliates all around the country filed open-records requests seeking information about how government agencies are using automated license plate readers. One set of records, released this week to the ACLU of Massachusetts by the police…

ACLU Sues Federal Agencies for Records on License Plate Tracking

ACLU Sues Federal Agencies for Records on License Plate Tracking

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 12:58pm

Today we sued the federal government to enforce Freedom of Information Act requests we filed over the summer to learn about how it is using a technology that can track Americans’ location with increasing efficacy: automated license plate readers.…

When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:21am

Data from license plate readers in Minnesota was obtained by a St. Paul car dealer using open-records laws, and used to repossess at least one car, according to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The article included this amusing tidbit:

When…

Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

By Ateqah Khaki at 1:22pm

The ACLU is hoping to be at South by SouthWest next March, and we need your help! We’ve submitted four panel pitches (one, two, three and four) for SXSW Interactive, and there are two days left for the public to vote for and comment on the…

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