July 30, 2012
It has recently been announced that 38 states (including Oklahoma) have joined with the ACLU of Maryland to find out how the information collected by ALPR camera license plate data is being handled. This is very good news! (Click the map to find out state specifics)
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined with ACLU affiliates in 38 states to send requests to local police departments and state agencies to seek information on how they use automatic license plate readers to track and record Americans’ movements. Here in Maryland, the state has reported that there are more than 320 ALPRs being used and many are linked to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Maryland’s “fusion center,” where the data is potentially stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing database of our location and travel through the state.
ALPRs are cameras that cam be mounted on vehicles such as police patrol cars or in fixed locations like light poles. These cameras snap photographs of license plates and store the image along with the vehicle’s registration data plus the time date and location of every vehicle captured. The devices have the potential to track all vehicles even those who are registered to owners who have broken no law at all. Without appropriate restrictions, the police can collect, share and retain the data indefinitely which enables our movements to be tracked and monitored, a concern I raised recently with the announcement that Shawnee police were using the devices and touting their potential to be used for investigative purposes.
“For investigating, it will be phenomenal,” Frantz said. Link