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posted by CoolHand on Sunday May 10 2015, @03:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the evil-vs-good dept.

It's not just governments and law enforcement agencies that are advocating the use of license plate readers, as The Intercept's Lee Fang reports:

As privacy advocates battle to rein in the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs), they're going up against another industry that benefits from this mass surveillance: lenders and debt collectors. [...] In Rhode Island, for instance, state Rep. Larry Valencia and state Sen. Gayle Goldin proposed bills in 2014 to prohibit the sale or trade of data collected by ALPRs, and to mandate that the state destroy records after one year.

I filed a records request and found two letters in opposition. One letter came from the[sic] Steven G. O'Donnell, on behalf of the Rhode Island State Police, arguing that law enforcement should be able to come up with its own internal procedures to govern the use of ALPRs. The other letter came from Danielle Fagre Arlow, senior vice president to the American Financial Services Association (AFSA), a trade group for consumer lending companies, some of which target the subprime market.

"Our particular interest in the bill," Arlow wrote, "is the negative impact it would have on ALPR’s valuable role in our industry – the ability to identify and recover vehicles associated with owners who have defaulted on their loans and are not responding to good-faith efforts to contact them." Arlow opposed the bill's restrictions on "how long data can be kept because access to historical data is important in determining where hard-to-find vehicles are likely located."

AFSA lobbied against several similar bills as they were proposed around the country. In Massachussetts, the group lobbied against a bill designed to destroy ALPR records after 90 days. AFSA argued that such a regime is unfair because "ALPR systems work best when they are used to string together the historical locations of vehicles."

[...] According to the ACLU of Rhode Island, the ALPR privacy bill died last session — notably, the bill failed after the consumer lending lobbyists voiced their opposition.

Unofficial Secrets is a newly launched and more frequently updated blog from First Look Media/The Intercept.

Related stories:

DHS Wants a National License Plate Tracking System
Ars Technica Obtains Large Dataset of Oakland Police Department License Plate Scans
Watch Out for "Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection"

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday May 10 2015, @05:23AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday May 10 2015, @05:23AM (#181000) Journal

    If this is true, odds are the app (a version specifically for repo purposes) has been made multiple times since then. [] [] [] []

    Where does this private data come from?

    The private data that is shared with Vigilant Solutions’ hosted solution comes from a number of sources. The largest source of data is from Digital Recognition Network (DRN), a partner company to Vigilant.

    An industry pioneer in vehicle asset location technology and services for the financial and insurance markets, DRN fuels a national network of more than 550 Affiliates employing Vigilant’s mobile LPR to gather data for its clients. DRN shares this data over to Vigilant’s law enforcement data center via a one-way communication (i.e. no information from the law enforcement data center ever goes back to DRN). Because this technology is used in every major metropolitan area in the United States, DRN captures data on around 100 million vehicles each month. This data is shared to Vigilant’s National Vehicle Location Service for use by law enforcement.

    Some of these private companies collecting 100s of millions of plates are definitely selling out to more than just law enforcement agencies.

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  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday May 10 2015, @02:18PM

    many people don't drive cars at all.

    So on the average, every one or two months, some complete stranger would know where your car has been. If you live in a densely populated area, quite likely they'd know where your car has been every single day.

    Among the reasons I won't ever use Uber is that they bragged about tracking "Rides of Glory", in which the passenger arrived at a particular address Friday or Saturday night, then departed from that same address Saturday or Sunday morning.

    I like to drive, I really do. It is quite upsetting to me, that I choose not to buy a car - maybe a motorcycle - as I've been planning for the last little while.

    Maybe it would be OK were I only to drive it in the remote wilderness.

    Maybe I'll buy a car in Mexico, then drive it around in the US. There is some time limit that one can do something like that; when the deadline approaches, I'd drive it back to Mexico then purchase another car.

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