Licence Plate Readers

Police Took And Uploaded 114,155 License Plate Tracking Scans AN HOUR Into A Universal Database To Track And Predict Every Americans' Travel Habits

In 2019 alone, just 82 agencies collected more than 1 billion license plate scans using ALPRs. Yet, 99.9% of this surveillance data was not actively related to an investigation when it was collected. Nevertheless, law enforcement agencies stockpile this data, often for years, and often share the data with hundreds of agencies around the country. This means that law enforcement agencies have built massive databases that document our travel patterns, regardless of whether we’re under suspicion.

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Do we have a license to travel without being tracked?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently allowed an indictment against a New Bedford man accused of dealing drugs to stand after his attorney challenged the charges based in part on the use of fixed cameras on the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. Some of us may have been, up to now, blissfully aware of the presence of such license plate readers, which time stamp digital photos of the license plates of every vehicle traveling to and from Cape Cod.

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