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Privacy Questions Accompany Automated License Plate Scanners
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Andrew Hornback
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2012 | 1:03:31 AM
re: Privacy Questions Accompany Automated License Plate Scanners
Something else to keep in mind here - if you are to take it into your own hands to either modify your license plate or cover it with something to obscure the sensors, you may be at risk of committing a crime, depending on the laws of your state and local jurisdiction.

A good number of states, in the paperwork that accompanies the plate or in the state laws surrounding the issuance of these plates, actually retain ownership of the plate itself - you are merely holding their property when you have plates attached to your vehicle.

I have seen incidents where people will strip the paint off of the letters and numbers on the plate and repaint them to match the vehicle (some custom car folks are pretty crazy about being matchy-matchy). These are the same folks that get in trouble with law enforcement who can rather easily see a modified plate.

If law enforcement was truly just using these automated plate lookups to determine if a vehicle is stolen, has outstanding tickets, etc. - that would be one thing. Taking the data that they are compiling and using it to determine the movements of people (without a warrant) is an entirely different kettle of fish - and not necessarily a tasty one.

Andrew Hornback
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