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License Plate Scanners and Privacy Violation

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by RedRiverRose, Sep 19, 2014.

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  1. RedRiverRose

    RedRiverRose Low-Roller

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    Any thoughts on license plate scanners and privacy issues?

    I was under the impression that the cameras at intersections recorded vehicles/occupants in the range of the cameras. When my husband was involved in a accident at an intersection in our city and was critically injured I asked the poiice department if the cameras showed who was at fault. They told me that the cameras only record license plates.

    Other info shows that in some cities the ability to capture the entire vehicle and occupants is available to local and federal law enforcement agencies so I guess it depends on where you are as to how sophisticated the camera systems are.

    Just wondering about all of this after I read about a suit regarding violation of privacy issues alleging capture of license plates of citizens not involved in a criminal investgation violates privacy. I never gave it much thought until today. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I hope your husband makes a speedy recovery.

    I oppose all this Big Brother surveillance stuff. The use of smart meters by utility companies needs to be tightly controlled to ensure privacy.
     
  3. RedRiverRose

    RedRiverRose Low-Roller

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    I hadn't thought about the utility company smart meters.
     
  4. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    In Honolulu we found out that they were using scanners on license plates (no traffic cameras, just cars with photo scanners). The excuse they used was because they wanted to catch felons and stolen cars. That didn't go well with the public and eventually our police dept. put a stop to scanning license plates.

    They tried cameras in Honolulu with the introduction of van cams. That took a hit when an administrator said that they could ticket ANYONE driving over the speed limit, including people who were going 1 mph over the limit. No 5 mph grace or anything, they said that legally they could ticket anyone going over the speed limit. Traffic on our freeways ground to a crawl (we only have a 55 mph speed limit) and the public demanded the end of the van cams and the van cam program quickly ended. To this day the mention of van cams and traffic cameras is met with scorn.

    We have also read and heard about the various traffic cam programs, many are more interested in revenue produced than actually trying to make the roadways safer. Some cities have encountered illegalities from the vendor, other cities encountered court challenges with the use of traffic cams since the fine went to the owner of the car, not the driver.
     
  5. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    A dirty little secret is that if you park at Bradley International Airport (Hartford, CT) they occasionally cruise through scanning your license plate looking for people to boot! This is automated now but a parking enforcement clerk used to walk through and enter the license plates manually. I know because he stopped by to say hello one day while I was unloading my bag to leave on a flight. I have a distinctive amateur radio license plate and park there almost every week and he wondered who I was as his father had been a ham.

    So far I have seen over two dozen cars booted! Fair? Depends on your point of view. Those people did owe the tickets but boys it would suck to arrive at 1130 pm on a Friday evening and see the boot!

    The garage is public property, not private. If it was private I wonder if there would be a fourth amendment question here?

    Perhaps coming to a public garage near you real soon?
     
  6. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    Pretty sure there are cops that run those scanners down my street on a weekly basis but honestly it doesn't bother me. I know they're trying to catch car thiefs or find stolen vehicles. If they wanted to do surveillance on me, I'm sure there are a couple of sattelites that could track my movements at all times.
     
  7. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    A camera in a fixed position that takes snapshots at an intersection couldn't just record the plate, because it doesn't know where the plate is; it'd have to record an area. It is possible that the image could then be cropped down to just the plate and the original full image discarded. The same could be done with video.

    Let's say you go visit a friend and park in front of his house. Some scanner picks up your license plate that night. It just so happens there's a murder a couple of door down that night, and you get a call from the cops based on the fact that your car was there. Is that a violation of your privacy, or valid investigational information?

    To me the danger in things like that is less in the notion of privacy (someone knows where I was) and more in the area of getting railroaded (prove you didn't do it). Because people are very easily convinced of guilt, and that mob mentality gets worse every hour with social media.
     
  8. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    My buddy got a traffic ticket, $100, from a camera 60 miles from his house. The photo clearly show a blue Ford pickup. My buddy drives a maroon Ford van. The license number clearly shows an "M". His license plate has an "N". He had to pay the fine because he would have lost a lot more than $100 in a day's salary if he had taken off from work to fight it.
     
  9. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Huh? What privacy issues do you have with smart meters? They record time of use data.
     
  10. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I can kinda see it, from your usage I could maybe figure out some of you daily patterns.

    Personally, if I'm in public I don't expect much privacy. Booting cars? All for it.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  11. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    Every cop I know, and I know several because I'm related to 2 in my city and a friend married into a cop family in another city, all say they run the plates on every car they possibly can. They say it's unbelievable how often they'll come across a stolen car or somebody with a warrant for their arrest by just running plates of random cars. I'm against the big brother stuff also, but I don't see it as being any different in this case than what the cops do themselves.
     
  12. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Instead of writing myself, I'll just copy something from foxnews

    The information gathered from smart meters includes unencrypted data that can, among other details, reveal when a homeowner is away from their residence for long periods of time. The electric wattage readings can even decipher what type of activities a customer is engaged in, such as watching TV, using a computer or even how long someone spends cooking.

    “It’s in the nature of technology to be neutral in the benefits and the risks; it’s how the info is used,” Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, tells FoxNews.com. “Look at smartphones. No one can argue the benefits of having one. But on the other hand, it’s the best tracking device.”

    The Vermont ACLU has, in the past few years, participated in the privacy debate over smart energy meters. The group says that one major issue with data collected from the meters is the same with cellphone data. The agency has filed lawsuits against law enforcement agencies in the state over cellphone data being harvested through secret inquests and used to track an individual’s whereabouts.

    The group has suggested a proposal to the state government so the same won’t happen with smart-meter data.

    “We have put up quite a strong argument for user utility data,” Gilbert said. “This is why we presented a proposition in which we said that police departments should not get customer information from a utility.

    “Instead, any subpoena should be issued directly to the customer.”

    The U.S. Department of Energy has even admitted that privacy and data access is a concern as far back as 2010 in a report on the smart meter technology.

    “Advances in Smart Grid technology could significantly increase the amount of potentially available information about personal energy consumption,” reads a statement from the report, titled “Data Access and Privacy Issues Related to Smart Grid Technologies.”
     
  13. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    The issue is the database that the government can establish to track your movements. I believe there should be a reasonable suspicion before any plates are run.
     
  14. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    I can believe anything I read when Fox News is in the same sentence.

    Only watched it a few times when in Vegas, but the tiny amount of European news content they put out is dreadfully flawed in accuracy.
     
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  15. NickyDim

    NickyDim VIP Whale

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    I'm against all the Big Brother technology also with regards to traffic tickets and logging where anyone individual is at any given time. Keeping track of a persons movements violates my right to privacy. And any cam used in traffic violations (red light cams, school zone speed enforcement unmanned guns/cams, etc) because in this country you have the right to face your accuser in court, and you can't do that with a camera. It's unconstitutional and I applaud the judge in North Carolina that found it unconstitutional too. Nevada doesn't allow them except in very rare circumstances.
     
  16. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    License plate scanners: Big Brother. If they are automated, I think it is a tracking tool. I don't have a problem with having a person (law enforcement) run random plates. That to me is simply grinding out law enforcement. We have red light cameras in our town. They take a series of pics when there is motion in the intersection after the light turns red. So there is no constant surveillance. Then the pics are reviewed by police before there is a citation issued. So it is not the camera sending the ticket, it is a cop.

    Energy/utility and smart phone tracking: Police should have to get a subpoena to see the information. For example, if someone smells weed, the police can ask a judge if they can look at electricity usage to see if a house has a grow room.

    Right to privacy: It is a tradition of the judicial system, not a constitutional right (not in the Constitution). Not saying it's good or bad. I'm of the opinion that the courts have ruled witht the Founding Fathers' intention of limiting power of the government.

    Booting cars in an airport or any other lot: I believe booting doesn't happen until other avenues of contact have been attempted. I don't want my car booted, so I pay my fines. I don't want to be fined, so I don't park illegally or speed (too fast). It bothers me to hear people complain about escalating penalties when they commit repeated illegal behaviors. I also get fired up when I hear ads on the radio for negotiating reductions on back taxes. People should pay their taxes, just like the law says.

    It's a tough balance, government vs public.
     
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