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posted by CoolHand on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the little-freedoms dept.

A bill in the California Senate would allow drivers to cover their license plates when parked to prevent automated license plate readers from reading them. Law enforcement (or somebody else) would have to manually lift the cover to obtain the license plate number:

If the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a San Diego-based Republican state senator have their way, it will soon become legal for Californians to cover their license plates while parked as a way to thwart automated license plate readers.

[...] As written, the new senate bill would allow for law enforcement to manually lift a cover, or flap, as a way to manually inspect a plate number. The idea is not only to prevent dragnet license plate data collection by law enforcement, but also by private companies. A California company, Vigilant Solutions, is believed to have the largest private ALPR database in America, with billions of records.

Ars is unaware of a commercially available product that would allow a license plate to be easily blocked in this fashion. A man in Florida was arrested earlier this year for using a miniature black screen that could be activated via remote control as a way to block his plate number when he passed through automated toll booths.

The new bill will come up before the California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday, May 9—the first stop in the legislative process.

The California Police Chiefs Association has already filed its opposition to the bill. In a letter to Sen. Joel Anderson, the group argued that the bill would only benefit one group: "those who are trying to evade law enforcement and detection." Similarly, the bill has faced resistance from the California Public Parking Association, among other groups.

Related:
DHS Wants a National License Plate Tracking System
Debt Collectors Fight Privacy Advocates Over License Plate Readers
Arizona City Using Fake Cacti to Hide License Plate Cameras
Louisiana Governor Vetoes License Plate Reader Bill, Citing Privacy Concerns.
Open Source License Plate Reader: Little Brother Strikes Back!
Federal Agents Enlisted Local Police to Scan License Plates at Gun Shows
Amazon Wants to Scan Your License Plate


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:49PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:49PM (#507004)

    Cops will need to be trained to lift license plate covers. Taxpayers can't afford the unjustifiable expense.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Gaaark on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:16PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:16PM (#507013) Journal

    They just need to be told to tazer the cover, then pepper spray it, then yell "down on the ground, down on the ground", then shoot it, then read it it's rights, then tazer it again, shoot it, check if it's black, shoot it again, shoot it again, shoot it again, kick it a few times, shoot it again, check to make sure (with a flashlight) that it IS indeed black, shoot it again.

    THEN lift it up to check the plate.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:22PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:22PM (#507017) Journal

    Cop sues privacy-minded driver over back injury

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    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09 2017, @06:54PM (#507046)

      What about suing the donut provider?

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday May 10 2017, @03:07AM

    by frojack (1554) on Wednesday May 10 2017, @03:07AM (#507261) Journal

    Cops wont bother to get out of the car.

    https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Powered-License-Plate-Frame/dp/B001TLLZ4E [amazon.com]

    These things are quite common.
    Usually tied into your ignition so they deploy on the road, and hide your plate when you park.
    Not illegal at all when parking on private property. And its not entirely clear if it would be illegal parking on the street.

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