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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 Kromagv0 on Monday May 11 2015, @01:24PM

    by Kromagv0 (1825) on Monday May 11 2015, @01:24PM (#181455) Homepage

    Your experience with car buying sounds similar to when I last bought one. While I had the money available financial institutions move a a glacial pace for getting me my own money. So I took out a loan for the car as the vehicle I was driving (my beater Jeep) got such crappy gas mileage that it was cheaper to pay the interest for a bit than continue to drive my jeep every day. Then 4 days after getting my current car I went to pay off the loan and talk about a pain in the ass. I had the loan document from the dealer but things weren't completely in their system yet so I couldn't just pay the thing online. I ended up on the phone with them for a couple of hours trying to pay the damn thing off and even then they tried to talk me out of paying the damn thing off as I had a really good rate. The interest ended up being just a few dollars (I think it was like $8) yet I saved about $30 in gas over those 4 days.

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