California legislation targets police use of license plate readers

California legislation targets police use of license plate readers

New legislation proposed in California aims to put limitations on law enforcement’s use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs), a technology used to collect large amounts of data and track the real-time movement of hundreds of millions of people without a warrant.

California state senator Scott Wiener on Tuesday will introduce the License Plate Privacy act, which would require regular audits of police department’s use of such technology, ban the retention of data that is not relevant to police’s needs and restrict the sharing of any retained data.

The bill’s introduction comes after alarm has grown among privacy advocates over the technology, which is used by hundreds of local police forces across the country, as well as by federal government agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (Ice).

ALPRs use cameras mounted on police vehicles or a stationary location such as a highway overpass to collect images of license plates, documenting the image accompanied by the date, time and location of that vehicle and in some cases photographs of drivers and their passengers.

California legislation was passed in 2015 to limit the use of ALPRs but, without regular auditing, it is unclear how well police forces are following the requirements, proponents of the new legislation argue. A 2019 audit of police forces showed they were, in many cases, collecting excessive amounts of information and sharing them with hundreds of other agencies, often without clear reasoning.

Wiener told the Guardian he first began to consider legislation after the 2019 audit showed there were “basically no constraints” over how ALPR data was collected and used.  ReadMore

 

Source : theguardian

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