Police brazenly lying about license plate reader system

Ars TechnicaAn official from the wealthy Phoenix, Arizona, suburb that has begun to mount stationary license plate readers in fake cacti told Ars that its soon-to-be-deployed 15 license plate readers are primarily designed to thwart burglaries. Just how many burglaries were there in Paradise Valley, Arizona, in 2014? Only 55.

The obvious fact is that the license plate reader system has everything to do with tracking the citizens who nominally employ them, rather than with preventing burglary.

Ars TechnicaBurke also told Ars that the city will be retaining the LPR data for six months and would not be releasing the entire dataset, nor would it be releasing individual records under the state public records act. He argued that the city does not want to get involved in domestic disputes, such as one person retrieving information on an estranged partner.

Once the data is there, it can and will be dragged into everything: court cases, lawsuits, investigations, everything. The only way to keep data like that safe is not to collect it in the first place.

Ars Technica"The purpose is not to track the movement of day-to-day drivers, but the purpose is to match it against the Department of Public Safety's hotlist," Burke added. "It's collected for law enforcement purposes and used for law enforcement purposes, not for tracking purposes."

If it's not being used for tracking purposes, why don't you delete the plates that don't match your hotlist immediately?

This idiot seems to think that "law enforcement purposes" and "tracking purposes" are somehow different purposes. They aren't. Law enforcement finds it very useful to track people's movements, especially if they can automate the tracking and look it up later. It's very convenient for them. It's how they solve crimes. But it's also an invasion of privacy and a violation of the 4th Amendment.

This entry was published Wed Jun 24 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2015-06-24 10:03:45.0. [Tweet]

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