Intrusive Police Scanners Collect Records of Drivers’ Movements


police scanners

Photo of paperback-size license plate scanner

The Center for Investigative Reporting found another case of an unregulated intrusion into our private lives by government and few people know about it. Police departments throughout California are outfitting their vehicles with license plate scanners that can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour shift. The scanners do more than photograph your license plate.

It seems limited to California for now but it can only expand outward if unchecked.

One security consultant, who found out about the purchases of the scanners in San Bernardino, asked for a record of every time his car was scanned. He was shocked at what he found. They had photographed his two cars a total of 112 times and one photo shows him and his daughters stepping out of his car in his own driveway.

This is a significant intrusion into innocent peoples’ lives.

The scanners are kept in a database of unknown size and the project is done in conjunction with Silicone Valley. It is all quite secretive and it is completely unregulated. The contract calls for a database of a hundred million records that be made accessible to local and state law enforcement across the region.

Read the revealing story at cironline.