Privacy advocates don’t object to police using LPRs to catch criminals. But they are concerned about how long police keep the numbers if the plates don’t register an initial hit. In many places there are no limits, so police departments keep the pictures—tagged with the date, time, and location of the car—indefinitely.See the full story for more background.
The backlash against LPRs began in earnest this year, as three more states limited law enforcement use of the systems and in some cases banned private companies from using the systems, for example, to track down cars for repossession. So far, five states limit how the cameras are used, and the American Civil Liberties Union anticipates that at least six other states will debate limits in the upcoming legislative session.
In New Hampshire, police and private companies (with the exception of the tolling company EZ Pass) are forbidden from using license plate readers. Utah requires police to delete license plate data nine months after collection. In Vermont, the limit is 18 months and in Maine it is three weeks. Arkansas police have to throw out the plate numbers after 150 days and parking facilities are the only private companies allowed to use the technology.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Regulate data collection from license-plate readers
When the 84th Texas Legislature convenes in 2015, Grits hopes they will consider and pass restrictions on the use of license plate readers by law enforcement and the private sector. Stateline published a story this week including details about how other states are handling the new technology: