A 2012 investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) showed that, as privacy advocates feared, at least one private manufacturer of license plate recognition systems has been retaining its own ALPR data, creating an enormous, national database. As government accountability groups have feared, information from that database, the National Vehicle Location Service, is not bound by the few privacy regulations governing government ALPR databases. CIR showed that the private firm that owns that database, Vigilant Video, sells our data to police, creating a loophole to skirt around the few public regulations that exist to protect us from improper, retroactive police spying.
Governments have for some time purchased our credit, criminal, residential, employment and other data from private corporations. Now ALPR data is added to that mounting pile of information on each one of us, as multinational intelligence and data firms are integrating their systems with ALPR technology, further expanding the reach of the surveillance matrix.
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