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posted by martyb on Sunday December 06 2015, @07:31PM   Printer-friendly
from the goose-and-gander dept.

If you have an IP-enabled security camera, you can download some free, open-source software from GitHub and boom—you have a fully functional automated license plate reader, reports ArsTechnica .

Matt Hill, OpenALPR's founder, told Ars technica "I'm a big privacy advocate... now you've got LPR just in the hands of the government, which isn't a good thing."

Will "they" like it when "we" have a crowdsourced database of where and when congressmen, judges and cops go throughout their work day?

Does this level the playing field? Open yet another can of worms? Both?


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Monday December 07 2015, @03:43AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 07 2015, @03:43AM (#272727) Journal

    But, if you want to know who stole what, wouldn't simple off the shelf surveillance cameras work much better than recording license plates?

    Recording every plate into and out of a neighborhood then trying to guess which took your stuff, by trying to tie it to the time you finally noticed something missing seems like a rather obtuse method.

    he miscreants aren't in control of the cameras or the data

    You are probably right about that, even though its open source, we know thieves would never go to that much trouble.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 07 2015, @11:23PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 07 2015, @11:23PM (#273101)

    In my particular experience, I had a security (actually wildlife) camera in my (wooded) backyard - with 16 months of history, I had seen exactly 3 human beings on it. Myself a few times while checking the installation, my neighbor once chasing her dog, and a landscaper with a giant tattoo on his arm going back into the woods, to take a piss I'd guess, about a week before the camera disappeared. With license plate reader data, you could look at the week's history, check the irregulars (likely less than 10) and check them against the workers doing the landscaping, and at least have some actionable data to tell the cops besides: "It was there, then it was gone, and yeah about a week earlier a suspicious character walked by..."

    Like any data gathering method, it's not so great for a single instance, but if the moron decides that the neighborhood is easy pickings and keeps coming back, you can nail him on the 2nd or 3rd instance, much faster than with security cameras or dogs that bark at every damn armadillo that walks by.

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