Are We Being Tracked By Plate Readers?

Governments all over the world are using all sorts of devices and tools to track people’s movements, with the excuse that they have to do it in order to protect citizens from terrorist attacks, or to be able to locate criminal suspects. In a word, they say that it’s for our own good. But, this is in fact a huge violation of our liberties, and data that is collected by surveillance cameras is often used for purposes that have nothing to do with national security or promoting citizens’ wellbeing. Invasion of privacy has been an issue in countries all over the world for a long time, with people being monitored in various ways, most of which the general public is not even aware of.

One such example of invasion of privacy was uncovered recently, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which commissioned a report on how data collected by automated license plate readers is used and how long it is being stored for. These license plate readers take digital photos of vehicle license plates, and are primarily intended to be used for locating car thieves and other criminals. But, the ACLU has reviewed thousands of documents from various local and state police departments, which reveal that the information that is being gathered through this surveillance technology is being stored for years, with no privacy protection whatsoever.


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