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Old April 3rd, 2015
flylow7f39 flylow7f39 is offline
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Default A year after firestorm, DHS wants access to license-plate tracking system

Full article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...f9d_story.html

"The Department of Homeland Security is seeking bids from companies able to provide law enforcement officials with access to a national license-plate tracking system — a year after canceling a similar solicitation over privacy issues.

The reversal comes after officials said they had determined they could address concerns raised by civil liberties advocates and lawmakers about the prospect of the department’s gaining widespread access, without warrants, to a system that holds billions of records that reveal drivers’ whereabouts.

In a privacy impact assessment issued Thursday, the DHS says that it is not seeking to build a national database or contribute data to an existing system.

Instead, it is seeking bids from companies that already gather the data to say how much they would charge to grant access to law enforcement officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a DHS agency. Officials said they also want to impose limits on ICE personnel’s access to and use of the data."

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"“If this goes forward, DHS will have warrantless access to location information going back at least five years about virtually every adult driver in the U.S., and sometimes to their image as well,” said Gregory T. Nojeim, senior counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology."

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"Ginger McCall, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Open Government Project, said the new safeguards are not “meaningful.” She called the data retention requirements “exceedingly vague” and said tracking a person through alert lists without a warrant is troubling.

The senior DHS privacy officer said case law does not require the government to seek a warrant for such data.

“This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not nearly strong enough, given the particular acute privacy and civil liberties issues implicated by locational data,” McCall said."

Last edited by flylow7f39; April 3rd, 2015 at 03:56 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2015
flylow7f39 flylow7f39 is offline
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Default License plate readers raise First Amendment questions

Full article at http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion...ions/25334947/

"Even the police have acknowledged the chilling effects of surveillance. A 2011 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police noted that individuals may become "more cautious in the exercise of their protected rights of expression, protest, association and political participation" due to license plate reader systems.

The IACP report continues: "Recording driving habits could implicate First Amendment concerns. Specifically, LPR systems have the ability to record vehicles' attendance at locations or events that, although lawful and public, may be considered private. For example, mobile LPR units could read and collect the license plate numbers of vehicles parked at addiction counseling meetings, doctors' offices, health clinics or even staging areas for political protests."

This chilling effect may be especially pronounced for license plate reader data collection, where information about where you travel can be used to infer information about who you are. In some cases, merely having your car parked in a certain area may be enough to gain law enforcement scrutiny. The IACP report remarks that it may be useful to know whether a car was parked near a domestic violence call or previous crime scene, whether or not the owner of that vehicle was involved.

Unfortunately, these examples are far from improbable. In New York City, police officers used unmarked vehicles with license plate readers to track congregants at local mosques. In Colorado, as one of our public records requests revealed, the Adams County Sheriff's Department demonstrated license plate reader technology by singling out music lovers for surveillance, sweeping a rave party and a concert at a country-western bar (first it's the line dancers, next they'll come for the swing dancers, and then the bedroom mirror dancers?)."
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