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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 Common Joe on Tuesday May 12 2015, @03:02AM

    by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Tuesday May 12 2015, @03:02AM (#181765) Journal

    There is no doubt that not having debts means that you are regarded as untrustworthy.

    Although unfortunate, the conclusion is obvious: Get a credit card, small loan, anything and pay it back with the absolute minimum. Keep the value small so you aren't getting fleeced too badly.

    With that said, your credit score will still suffer as the amount of the debt (too little or too much) can make for a credit score that isn't great. (But I've also seen first hand how they will purposely force a lower score on you when trying to get a house loan.)

    And finally, when my wife came to the U.S. to live, we had problems getting her a credit card. The company where I had my credit card declined her for having no U.S. credit history. (Nevermind her good European credit history.) We walked into our bank and spoke to someone higher up and said, "we want a credit card". Because we had money in the bank -- an amount they respected -- the guy said no problem. By the time we moved to Europe, she had a higher credit limit than me. (Still trying to figure that one out.)

    All sucky solutions, but if you have the money, tossing a few bread crumbs to make "them" think you're one of the sheep can help you play the game.

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